April 19, 2023 - Baramouda 11, 1739
Departure of St. Theodora
On this day, the pure and holy mother Theodora, departed. This holy woman was the only daughter of noble and Christian parents of Alexandria. Her parents Provided for her costly apparels and many gold and silver accessories, for they wished to give her in marriage. This Saint refused that, for she desired in her heart the worship of God and the strife for His Name's sake. She sold all what her father bought her, gave to the needy, and then built a church outside the city of Alexandria, towards the west.
Then she went to the holy father Abba Athanasius, the apostolic (Fourth century), who shaved her hair and made her a nun in one of the convents outside the city of Alexandria. She devoted herself to the ascetic life, fought the spiritual fight, and became worthy to see divine visions, distinguish angels from satan, and know the thoughts of the minds.
Pope Athanasius visited her often and instructed her with his teachings. When he was exiled, he sent her many letters full of valuable sermons, and she was steadfast in her strife until the end of her life. She was contemporary to five Patriarchs: Alexandros, Athanasius, Petros, Timotheos and Theophilos. She put down many useful sayings, some of them by the grace that was in her; the others were from what she learned from those fathers.
Once she was asked: 'If a man talked to another evil words, would he silence him, or rebuke him, or close the ears and not listen to him?' She replied saying: 'If a man put in front of you a table with good and bad foods, you can not say to him 'Take this or that for it is harmful for me,' but you overlook it and eat what you desired, so nothing should be said to who speak bad words to others but it is enough that the man does not let his ears enjoy what he is hearing.'
She was also asked: 'How can the human overcome his enemy Satan?' She answered saying: 'With fasting, prayer, and humility.'
When she finished her strife, she departed in peace and was one hundred years old. Her prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of St. John, Bishop of Gaza
This day also marks the commemoration of the departure of Anba John, Bishop of Gaza. His intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.