Patron saint of brewers, brides, florists, midwives, newlyweds, and of the village of Pescia, Italy – Saint Dorothea of Caesarea

It is believed that Dorothea of Caesarea was born in 279.  The earliest records of her mention only three basic facts: the day of martyrdom, the place where it occurred, and her name and that of Theophilus. 

This is the oldest version of the legend, was Dorothea of Caesarea was persecuted during the persecution of Diocletian.

She was a beautiful young virgin who had pledged her life to celibacy and prayer, but was ordered to marry a pagan and offer sacrifices to the false gods. She refused and was tried and convicted of being a Christian, and the local prefect named Sapricus had her put to death.

According to the legend, the lawyer presiding at her trial was named Theophilus. She was brought before the prefect.  She was tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to her execution in 311, the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: “Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom’s garden.” Before she was executed, she asked a six-year-old boy, to deliver Theophilus her headdress.  It was filled with a heavenly fragrance of roses and fruits. Immediately, Theophilus confessed to being a Christian.  He was put on the rack and killed. 

Saint Dorothy was considered to be the 15th of the Holy Helpers. and in arts she occurred with Saints Barbara, Catherine, and Margaret, forming with them a quartet of female virgin martyrs called “The four Capital Virgins”.Dorothy of Caesarea is regarded as the patroness of gardeners, because of the wreath of roses.  

On her February 6 feast day, trees are blessed.  Saint Dorothy is also the patroness of brewers, brides, florists, midwives, newlyweds, and of the village of Pescia, Italy.