is an apocryphal
name given to one of the thieves
who was crucified alongside Christ according to the Gospel of Luke
- And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
- But the other answering rebuked him, saying, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss."
- And he said unto Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."
- And Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (KJV)
The thief who challenged Jesus
to free Himself from the Cross
was not saved; the thief who asked to be remembered in Christ's kingdom was St Dismas, according to the legend.
The name of "Dismas" for this person, unnamed in the canonical Gospel itself, appears first in the twelfth century in the Gospel of Nicodemus. The other thief's name is given as Gestas. The name of "Dismas" was adapted from a Greek word meaning "sunset" or "death." The names themselves were popularized through an apocryphal Infancy Gospel, which adds a fanciful tale about how Dismas prevented other thieves in his company from robbing Mary and Joseph on their flight into Egypt.
In medieval art, St Dismas is often depicted as accompanying Jesus in the Harrowing of Hell as related in the Apostles' Creed
Saint Dismas is commemorated on March 25.