Wednesday’s Woman: St. Isidora the Simple

by Melanie on May 3, 2017

in Catholicism, Nonfiction, Saints, Spirituality, Wednesday's Woman

The Basics: Born in the fourth century in Egypt; died about 365 in Egypt; canonized precongregation; feast day, May 1. Women religious.

The Story: In some ways, it was a Cinderella story. Isidora isolated herself from the other sisters at the convent at Tabennisi in northern Egypt. It wasn’t that she didn’t do her share of the work–rather, she was quick to take on the most distasteful of tasks–but otherwise, she chose to spend most of her time in prayer rather than interacting with her community and covering her head with rags rather than the traditional garb. The others grew to regard her as lacking in intelligence and possibly possessed, and treated her with great disrespect, shunning her, insulting her, and even beating her. Isidora never retaliated.

That all changed one day when a famed hermit came to the convent and said an angel had told him to visit because he would find someone particularly full of grace there. When he encountered Isidora, he saw a ring of light around her head.

The four hundred other sisters immediately changed their attitudes, at least on the surface, and apologized over and over again for their mistreatment of Isidora. But after a few days, Isidora had had enough. She disappeared, it is believed into the desert where she could worship in peace as a hermit.


What We Can Learn from Isidora: We do well to be wary of those who lavishly praise us and seem to put us before the Lord. God must be first–always.

To Learn More About Isidora: Isidora also is honored within the Eastern Orthodox Church; the church’s U.S. site has a more extensive biography on her.

To Learn More About Other Women Saints and Blesseds: Come back next week, or consider buying my book, Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: