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Theodora of Alexandria
(5th - 6th century) Egypt

Theodora of Alexandria

Saint - Feast day, September 11

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AlthoughTheodora had a wonderful husband, she was unfaithful to him, and she fell into adultery as a young woman. Later she was seized with remorse and fled disguised as a man. She was admitted to a monastery under the name of Theodore and lived there.

One day, a young woman came to visit the monastery and accused her of making her pregnant. Instead of defending herself, remembering her own past, she simply took the infant and raised it lovingly as her own. Expelled from the monastery, she lived alone with the baby for seven years until she was re-admitted to the monastery where she lived a life of great humility until her death (Acta sanctorum 11 Sept. III, 788-789).

Right before her burial, they discovered that she was a woman, and had been falsely accused. Her son later became an abbot of a monastery. Her husband came to her funeral and also became a monk, continuing to struggle for Christ and his salvation in her very cell.

This is not the same Theodora whose life has been so wonderfully translated by Alice-Mary Talbot, "Life of St. Theodora of Thessalonike" in Holy Women of Byzantium, ed. Talbot.

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