Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was a journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert. She advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an Christian anarchist. In the 1930s, Day worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker movement: a nonviolent, pacifist movement which continues to combine direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. Day's cause for canonization is open in the Catholic Church.
On the jacket of Dorothy Day's book, Loaves and Fishes, Thomas Merton wrote: "Poverty for Dorothy Day is more than a sociological problem, it is also a religious mystery." Merton was quite taken with Dorothy, and considered her an icon of what it means to genuinely take the Christian Gospel seriously and to live it: to be concerned about the poor who, as Jesus said, "are always with us", about the outcast and unloved, and about the homeless; and to unashamedly oppose war and violence. Over the span of almost 10 years Merton sent her 29 letters. He once wrote: "If there were no Catholic Worker and such forms of witness, I would never have joined the Catholic Church."