The Real Teodora de la Sihla

Born in the 15th century in Romania, Teodora is a Romanian Christian Orthodox Saint, commemorated on August 7th. In her youth, she was married off against her will. Being childless, both she and her husband decided to embrace monasticism, he withdrawing to Poiana Mărului monastery under the name Elfterie, and she to Vărzărești.

Foreign invasions prompt her to retreat into the Buzău Mountains, where she lived for nearly a decade. From there she went towards the Sihăstria hermitage, in the Neamț mountains. With the guidance of Sihăstria's abbot, and with the blessing of the hermitage's egumen, she ascended the mountains to become an anchorite in the Sihla wilderness.

Theodora initially lived in a cottage in a rocky part of Sihla, left to her by an elderly monk. Oral tradition recounts that nuns fleeing from foreign invasions came across the saint's cottage, who relinquished it to move into a cave, even more remote than her initial abode. She spent the rest of her life here.

After her death, the body of the St. Teodora remained in the cave in which she had spent the greater part of her hermitage. Around 1725, Sihla monastery was founded in her memory.