Saint Theodora of Alexandria (+490)

Saint Theodora of Alexandria

Feast day – Sept. 11/24

 

Saint Theodora was from Alexandria, she was the wife of a young man.   One day,  persuaded by a fortune-teller, she committed adultery with another man and immediately felt the bitter pangs of her conscience.    She then decided to cut her hair, dress in men’s clothing, and enter the men’s Monastery of Octodecatos, under the male name of Theodore.

Saint Theodora’s labor, fasting, vigilance, humbleness and tearful repentance amazed the entire brotherhood.    When a promiscuous young woman slandered her, saying that Theodore had made her pregnant, Saint Theodora did not want to justify herself, but considered this slander as a punishment from God for her earlier sin.  She was  then thrown out of the monastery, and spent seven years living in the forest and wilderness, caring for the child of that promiscuous girl.

Saint Theodora overcame all diabolical temptations:  she refused to worship satan, refused to accept food from the hands of a soldier, and she refused to heed the pleas of her husband to return to him, for all of this was only a diabolical illusion, and as soon as Saint Theodora made the sign of the Cross everything vanished as smoke.

After seven years, the abbot received her back into the monastery, where she lived for two more years, and reposed in the Lord.     Only then did the monks learn that she was a woman.    A  angel appeared to the abbot and explained everything to him.   Her husband came to the burial, and then remained in the cell of his former wife until his repose.

Saint Theodora possessed much grace from God:  she tamed wild beasts, healed infirmities, and brought forth water from a dry well.  God glorified a true penitent, who with heroic patience repented nine years for just one sin.   She reposed in the year 490.

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