Dorothy Day was born on this day in 1897, and the world was/is better because of her. The above photo, from what I read, was taken in 1973 (when she would have been 75 or 76). She was in California protesting with Cesar Chavez, among others, on the mistreatment of migrant farmers. She was arrested and spent 10 days in jail. This photo says a thousand words…this anything-but-frail elderly woman sitting and staring defiantly at armed police officers with guns and batons. I really wish I could see the faces of the officers. It’s also ironic, I think, that her birthday coincides with the US presidential election today. I of course cannot say for sure, but I’m pretty sure I know who she would not have voted for. Anyhow, here’s a few quotes…

“Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.”

“We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”

“The final word is love.”

“Most of our life is unimportant, filled with trivial things from morning till night. But when it is transformed by love it is of interest even to the angels.” 


“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily. ”

“I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”

“We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.”

“Words are as strong and powerful as bombs, as napalm.”


To read more about Dorothy Day, click here. To read about her incredible life and courage I recommend her autobiography.

More in the Five Quotes series.

Urban Simplicity.

Advertisements