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25 October 2005
  + Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe, Faithful Women +
25 October, New Testament

These women were exemplary Christians who demonstrated their faith by their material support of the Church.

Peter Raises Tabitha from the DeadDorcas (or "Tabitha," both names meaning "gazelle") was well-known and much loved for her acts of charity in the city of Joppa, especially for her making clothes for the poor. When Dorcas died suddenly, the members of her congregation sent to the neighboring city of Lydda for the Apostle Peter, who came and raised her from the dead (Acts 9:36-43).

Lydia was a woman of Thyatira, who worked at Philippi selling a famous purple dye that was so much in demand in the ancient world. She was also a "worshiper of God," most likely at a local synagogue . When the Apostle Paul encountered her in prayer among other proselyte women, his preaching of the Word brought Lydia to faith in Christ. She and her friends thus became the nucleus of the Christian community in Philippi (16:11-15). It was to her house that Paul and Silas returned following the conversion of the Philippian jailer (16:16-40).

Phoebe was another faithful woman associated with the Apostle Paul. She was a church servant (perhaps "deaconess") from Cenchrae (the port of Corinth) whom Paul sent to the church in Rome with his Epistle to the Romans. In it he writes of her support for the work of the early Church (Romans 16:1-2).

Illustration is a public domain Bible card from 1897. To find similar cards and other illustrations, please follow the clipart link from The Bread Site.
 
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