Saint Theodora said we do not need to do anything special to become saints. We simply must do everything for the Lord.
Saint Theodora dedicated her entire life to God. Because God was the center of her life, she lived an exemplary life, a life we can look to and work towards. In my book, Seven Principles of Sainthood, I identified what I believe are seven examples of her dedication. We only need to try our best in just one of these areas to move closer to sainthood, and most definitely, closer to the Lord.
Saint Theodora’s principles include:
Pray with Saints
We don’t stand alone. Along with our earthly friends and family, the Lord surrounds us with heavenly beings to help us through the tough times. Like Saint Theodora, we can call on angels and saints to pray our prayers and help us in every way. The Virgin Mary and her mother, Anne, were among Saint Theodora’s favorite saints. And now we can include her as well among the saints we pray to.
Trust in Providence
Two of Saint Theodora’s most known sayings are to Lean on Providence and Trust in Providence. She entrusted all that happened, good and bad, to the Lord. She persevered and moved forward through the challenges of the American wilderness, illness, devastating fires, bigotry, and poverty.
Spread the Word of the Lord
As a missionary, Saint Theodora left her family, friends, and country to spread the Word to Americans in the mid-1800s. We don’t have to go that far to do that. Opportunities to bring others closer to the Lord surround us every day.
Lead by Serving
Saint Theodora wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. She taught, served the poor and sick, and personally cared for the children at her schools as well as the young women training to be teachers and Sisters of Providence. When we reach out to care for others rather than expecting others to serve us, we illustrate a strength and leadership similar to that of Saint Theodora.
Be Just and Kind
One of the teachings Saint Theodora expressed to her sisters was for them to love and respect all the children equally. She did not want them to show favoritism, thereby hurting the feelings of the other children. She also was concerned for people of different economic status or color. She was appalled at the slave trading which she witnessed during her lifetime.
Today we continue to see evidence of injustice in the world and can do our part to promote kindness and concern for all people through our thoughts, spoken and written words, and actions.
Forgive Like Jesus
Many people did terribly hurtful things to Saint Theodora. She didn’t get stuck on the pain they inflicted on her. She didn’t get angry and never was revengeful. She prayed for her offenders and kept moving on. What a great example for us to follow.
Strive for Humility
As the mother superior and leader of a large group of women and children, Saint Theodora could have thought as highly of herself as everyone around her did, but she did not. She considered any good in her life to be God’s doing and lived a life of humility and gratitude. We too must recognize God’s hand in all of our blessings.
©2015, Mary K Doyle