Isidora, fool of Tabenna

Once, a desert monk, Saint 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.”


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, because she worked in the kitchen and fulfilled the dirtiest, covered her head with a plain rag, never became angry, never insulted anyone with a word, never grumbled against God or the sisters, and was given to silence.

Isidora fell down at the knees of the Elder, asking his blessing. Saint 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.


On this day lift before God:

  • all who unassumingly take on tasks others consider menial.
  • all who have no desire to stand out.
  • all who tend toward silence.
  • all who make a habit of overlooking others.
  • all whose minds flit about uncontrollably.