A Year with the Saints – 26 November


God sometimes gives a certain union of heart and tender love for our neighbor, which is one of the greatest and most excellent gifts that His Divine bounty bestows on man. Saint Francis de Sales

The Saint himself had received this beautiful gift. One day, conversing with a confidential friend, he spoke thus: “I think there is not a soul in the world that loves more cordially, more tenderly, or, so to speak, more amorously, than I, for so it has pleased God to form my heart.”

Saint Ambrose relates how this love was shown by a holy contention which took place between Saint Theodora the Virgin and a soldier. The Saint was put in a position of great danger on account of her faith in Christ, when the soldier came to her and begged her to change clothes with him, that she might escape and save her honor. This she did; but when the holy virgin saw her preserver led to Martyrdom, she could not endure the thought that her rescue should cost him his life, and publicly exclaimed that it was she who had been condemned, not the one in custody, who was in reality not a woman, but a man. The soldier, on the contrary, asserted that the judge had not condemned her to death. This friendly struggle to save each other from death ended in both receiving the grace of Martyrdom.

MLA Citation