St. Paraskeva Orthodox Christian Charity, Romania

St. Parasceva

From the website of the Chicago, Illinois radio station WBEZ 91.5, an interview with physician Mariana Cuceu, president and co-founder of St. Paraskeva Orthodox Christian Charity in Romania, which serves children who are orphans as well as children with disabilities. Mariana herself struggled with and overcame severe disabilities. To access:

Global Activism: St. Paraskeva Orthodox Charity saves orphans in Romania

The Charity is a non-profit organization; all of those who serve through this mission do it on a volunteer basis. The three following pages of their site reveal who they are, their goals, and their Patron Saint, whose earthly and heavenly life in Christ is summarized. To access:

St. Paraskeva Orthodox Charity- About Us  &  Our Mission   Our Patron – Saint Paraskeva 

Icon from Christianorthodox’s Blog – The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven: Saint Paraskeva the New, whose holy relics are in Iasi, Romania 

A Profile of Dr. Mariana Cuceu:

President and Co-founder: Dr. Mariana Cuceu

A Presentation given by Dr. Cuceu at the 2014 conference of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion, on Ancient Faith Radio:

Dr. Marcel Cuceu, “Jesus Prayer in Healing the Person” (audio)


October 19th: The Feast of Saint John of Rila, Patron Saint of Bulgaria ☦946

St. John is the patron Saint of Bulgaria. He was the first acclaimed “athlete of prayer” from this land (though he fled acclaim). When he began to be eagerly sought after by many on account of the miracles the Lord performed through him, he fled to solitary places in order to escape pride and vainglory and to devote himself to prayer. He lived in caves in the Rila Mountains. For more on St. John of Rila:

The Life of St. John of Rila & Repose of St. John of Rila The Testament of St. John of Rila 

His Feast day is October 19th.

Below, Melissa Bushunow recounts the miraculous results of her pleas to Saint John of Rila in regard to her little baby boy Symeon’s non-functional vocal chords. His intercessions to the Lord were wondrously effective! For the whole story: .

A Recent Miracle of St. John of Rila 

A merciful act by St. John of Rila and his exhortations to the King of Bulgaria:

St. John of Rila and the King

St. John offered a small loaf to nine famished royal hunters who had not eaten for five days. They ate to their hearts content, and after that half the loaf was still left! The hunters reported this wonder to King Peter, who hurried and sought a word from St. John of Rila. He offered him various foods and gold; St. John rejected the gold, but humbly received the food. And this is what he said:

To entirely accept your gift would not be fitting for me. But because of your faith and your zeal towards me, I accept the food. The gold, however, I must return to you, for it greatly harms a monk, especially a monk living in the wilderness and inaccessible places. Why does one need gold who is contend to eat bread, but not to full satisfaction, and enough water only to moisten his parched tongue? To us ‘Christ is life and dead is gain.’ In your state of life, however, gold is a necessity. But even you, who are adorned with a diadem, must not delight in gold because it is said: ‘When wealth is flowing, do not attach your heart to it.’ In spite of what is written: ‘Wealth is proper to a king’s state,’ it is to be used for his arms and his army, not for his own pleasure, but most of all it is for the disabled and the poor, for the naked and the homeless. Therefore, if you wish to inherit the kingdom of heaven, be generous as our heavenly Father is generous. Flee injustice and plundering. Be meek, calm and accessible, and let your eyes be opened for all. ‘Let the oil of your mercy run over all, but let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing! Let the poor be happy when they leave your palace! Your princes curry praises on their lips! Your purple robe shine with the light of virtue! Your sighs and tears be your offspring! The remembrance of death be always on your mind! Your thoughts be unceasingly centered upon longing for the Kingdom! Prostrate yourself at the feet of your mother the church. Diligently kneel and bend your neck before those who rule her, so that the King of kings and Lord of lords, when He sees your diligence, will give you the reward which ‘eye has not seen, nor ear heard neither has entered into the heart of man – that which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

The source of the icon: My Country – Bulgaria 

October 18: St. Didymus the Blind ☦398

 St. Didymus, who is commemorated on October 18 (New Calendar), became blind at the age of four, headed the famous Catechetical School in Alexandria in the fourth century. 

Here are two sites I have found in which St. Didymus the Blind is commemorated:

1. As recorded in The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovičor for the Old Calendar date October 18, and New Calendar date October 31: 

“St. Anthony the Great greatly respected this wondrous blind saint who had the spirit of discernment. He stayed with him and prayed to God with him whenever he came to Alexandria from the desert.”

2. St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas: Ss Julian and Didymus the Blind 

More sources on St. Didymus the Blind:

Source of Image:

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, a blind and deaf girl is healed


The Miracle working icon of the Panagia Pantanassa

An illness deprived Lena Melnitschenko of her sight and hearing at age twelve.
 For two years she continued to pray before the icon of the Panagia Pantanassa (which means “Most Holy Queen of all”) at the Kiev Caves Lavra, and then one day …

Read the story here:

Mystagogy: A Blind and Deaf Girl Healed by the Theotokos at Kiev Caves Lavra

See also:

Mystagogy: A Miracle of Panagia Pantanassa at Porto Lagos in 2005

Icon from Ἀναβάσεις Ἐνημέρωση Τοποθετήσεις Ὁμολογία
Mystagogy is the weblog of John Sanidopoulos

AARP Online: Protect a Relative with a Disability (a one page article)


People with Down Syndrome are living longer – nearly 100% exhibit the Alzheimer’s pathology by age 50.

To access the article:

 Protect a Relative with a Disability, by Jane Bryant Quinn

(When you open this page, you will need to go to the top of the page, to the   + (plus) and enlarge to page as needed)

This article is concise- one page.

This is financial advice for US citizens with family member who have disabilities. Various options are laid out, and there are warnings against those who would seek to make a profit at your expense for unneeded services.

The page to the right is an AARP advertisement; they represent one option among many.

As to Oak Wealth Advisors , which is listed within the article, they do offer a wealth of information on this page:

Notice: Orange indicates a live URL (accessible with a click for the website named)

Special Needs Resources :




For families with children with Autism From families with children with Autism TOP 10 RECOMMENDATIONS

For families with children with Down syndrome From fa milies with children with Down syndrome TOP 10 RECOMMENDATIONS


In addition to these there are links to useful documents and to the websites which provide them, (Here’s one: With Open Arms ) as well as a list of organizations which serve the Special Needs Community in which they have a membership and active board involvement.

It’s worth a look. This is not a recommendation for their services, but the information they provide is helpful.  The organization is located in Illinois.

While we’re at it, another great resource:

My Child Without Limits

photo from Dimentia SOS 

Deaf Orthodox Christians

Russian Priest Using Sign Language

A Live URL:  Facebook: Deaf Orthodox Christians


This group is for all who are interested in Orthodox Christianity and the Deaf. It is open to all who have a love for Jesus Christ and who also have an interest in Eastern Christianity. While it has an Orthodox Christian focus, membership in an Orthodox Christian parish is not required and this group is open to all faiths. One of our goals is to encourage the making of videos of Eastern liturgies into signed languages used globally.

Deaf Outreach Resolution

WHEREAS we are called to spread the Word of God in many tongues (1 Cor. 14:9), yet the languages of a specific group of people throughout North America, namely, the deaf community, have been underrepresented, Whereas members of the deaf community, most of whom use sign language as their primary mode of communication, find it virtually impossible to enter into the liturgical fullness of the church,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Holy Synod be requested to explore the creation of a deaf outreach ministry to help every level of the Orthodox Church in America more effectively meet the specific needs of the deaf community.

See also

Deaf-mutes are necessarily admitted to Confession and Holy Communion. To access:  1013 

Gracefully accepting a birth defect

A mother’s story. Angela and Brett, at first, had many fears in regard to their daughter Elle. Could the defect be corrected? Could it be corrected completely? They had to patiently wait for answers to these questions, as do many parents in this situation.

Angela Erin Williams is publishing a book, entitled “Gracefully,” on how they handled this difficult time and about the grace that was given them to do so:

Here’s the webpage concerning her book on her blog: 

Angela Erin Williams: Gracefully, the book 

Click on the picture of the book and the page for ordering the book will appear.

From the webpage of the Charlotte Observer:

Gracefully accepting a birth defect 

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