Isidora, Fool-for-Christ

May 10 is the Commemoration of Saint Isidora, Fool-for-Christ.
“Saint Isidora, Fool-for-Christ, struggled in the Tabenna monastery in Egypt during the sixth century. Taking upon herself the feat of folly, she acted like one insane, and did not eat food with the other sisters of the monastery. Many of them regarded her with contempt, but Isidora bore all this with great patience and meekness, blessing God for everything.
She worked in the kitchen and fulfilled the dirtiest, most difficult tasks at the monastery, cleaning the monastery of every impurity. Isidora covered her head with a plain rag, and instead of cooked food she drank the dirty wash water from the pots and dishes. She never became angry, never insulted anyone with a word, never grumbled against God or the sisters, and was given to silence.
Once, a desert monk, St Pitirim, had a vision. An angel of God appeared to him and said, “Go to the Tabenna monastery. There you will see a sister wearing a rag on her head. She serves them all with love, and endures their contempt without complaint. Her heart and her thoughts rest always with God. You, on the other hand, sit in solitude, but your thoughts flit about all over the world.”
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The Elder set out for the Tabenna monastery, but he did not see the one indicated to him in the vision among the sisters. Then they led Isidora to him, considering her a demoniac. Isidora fell down at the knees of the Elder, asking his blessing. St Pitirim bowed down to the ground to her and said, “Bless me first, venerable Mother!”
To the astonished questions of the sisters the Elder replied, “Before God, Isidora is higher than all of us!” Then the sisters began to repent, confessing their mistreatment of Isidora, and they asked her forgiveness. The saint, however, distressed over her fame, secretly hid herself away from the monastery, and her ultimate fate remained unknown. It is believed that she died around the year 365.”
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“Saint Isidora or Isidore (Saint Isidora the Simple or Saint Isidora of Tabenna) was a Christian nun and saint of the 4th century AD. She is considered among the earliest fools for Christ. The Feast day of Isidora is celebrated by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church on May 1 and may also be on May 10.
Isidora lived in the Egyptian convent of Tabennisi. She veiled her head with an old dishrag and some time was treated with contempt by other nuns. One day, the hermit Saint Pitirim visited the convent after the vision of an angel, who had told him to “find an elect vessel full of the grace of God”… “by the crown that shines above her head”.
The aforesaid crown was reportedly seen above Saint Isidora. After that everyone in the monastery fell to the feet of Pitirim, confessing in repentance their disrespectful attitude to Isidora, who had suffered all insults and even beatings humbly, pretending to be mad.
Several days later Isidora, who could not bear the honors and apologies, secretly left the convent to spend the rest of her days in a desert hermitage. The following period of her life remained unknown. It is said that Isidora died no later than the year 365 AD.”

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