The feast day of Saint Theodora is celebrated in Vasta on 11 September every year. Saint Theodora came from the Peloponnese, which is why she is referred to as Saint Theodora “the Peloponnesian” in various sources. It is thought that she might have come from either Arcadia or Messenia.
Saint Theodora lived during the time of the Byzantine Empire, more specifically in the 9th century A.D. She came from a poor family which was, however, full of love and faith in God. From a very early age Theodora was very interested in religion, so she decided to devote her life to God.
She decided to join a monastery, but for some unknown reason, she chose a male monastery, Panaitsas, which is on the boundary between Arcadia and Messenia, rather than a nunnery. She presented herself there as a man, giving the name “Theodore”.
While at the monastery, she became an example of patience, and achieved great spiritual growth. For this reason, the Fathers of the Abbey soon entrusted her with the external work of the monastery, an office which is always awarded to monks or nuns with experience in the spiritual life.
In that period, famine broke out in the Peloponnese, which meant that both the ordinary people and the monastery were in danger of running out of food. "Theodore," the only person who was able to deal with this situation, decided to visit many Christian homes to support them and, if possible, to also save something for the monastic brotherhood.