Archive for November, 2011

Orthodox Christian text and music in braille

Father Dositheos (Paraskeviades)


St. Antony’s Monastery has made available, in Braille, some   liturgical and biblical texts, in English and in Greek.


There is also an introduction and history of the collection, an explanation of the symbols, and an exercise book:

Where this information was found:

The story of Father Dositheos (Paraskeviades)

The Akathist of Thanksgiving

 Thank You, Lord, for our daily bread – what we need, when we need it, from Your loving hand. Especially for the superessential Bread of Your Body and Blood.

On Thanksgiving, the day after, and forevermore.

The Akathist of Thanksgiving was found in the effects of New Martyr Archpriest Gregory Petroff, who perished in a Soviet Prison Camp. 

In previous Thanksgiving postings, Archpriest Gregory was incorrectly said to be the author. But the true author,

according to Fr. Serephim Holland (ROCOR) . . .  was Metropolitan Tryphon (Prince Boris Petrovich Turkestanov). It contains biographical references to his child-hood illness and family life, as well as other material. It was written in perhaps 1934, the year of his death. (This is the then Bishop Tryphon who, on 9/22 April, 1910 blessed the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and her “miloserdia’ sisters of the Mary & Martha convent to take up their work: “”These clothes will hide you from the world, and the world will be hidden from you, but at the same time it will be a witness of your charity, which will shine before the Lord, and in His glory.” (also see Liubov Miller’s ‘Holy Martyr of Russia, Grand Princess Elizaveta Fyordovna’). He was an enemy of Rasputin and disliked by the Tsaritsa Alexandra (“Bishop Trifon I have strong reason to dislike, as he always spoke & now speaks in the army against our Friend”). His martyric life is outlined on page 900 of Akty Svyatyeishego Patriarkha Tikhona. 

Source: Dr. Elizabeth Riggs, Post #5 in


“Glory to you, for every sigh of my sadness … for every moment of joy … for the fragrant lillies of the valley and the roses … for the morning dew, shining like diamonds … I kiss reverently the footprint of Your invisible tread … for the last rays of sunlight … for rest and the gift of sleep … for providential encounters with people … for the love of relatives, the devotion of friends … for our tireless thirst for You … Who have broken the spirits of darkness … for the genius of the human mind … for the life-giving strength of work … Who grant my wishes when they are good … for Whom there is no such thing as a hopeless loss … Who send failures and sorrows to us so that we might be sensitive to the sufferings of others … Who have raised love higher than anything on earth or in heaven … for providential coincidences … for the guidance of a secret inner voice … for revelations in dreams and when awake … Who destroy our useless plans … Who humble pride of heart to save us … for the unfathomable life-giving power of grace … Who have raised up Your Church as a refuge of peace for an exhausted world … Who breathe new life into us with the life-giving water of Baptism … Who restore the purity of immaculate lillies to those who repent … Glory to you, inexhaustible abyss of forgiveness … Who led us to heaven … Who have loved us with love immeasurable, deep, Divine … Who have surrounded us with light, and with hosts of angels and saints … Glory to You , all Holy Father, Who have willed us Your Kingdom … all Holy Son, the Way the Truth, and the Life …all Holy Spirit and life-giving sun of the future age … Glory to You for everything, O Divine Trinity, all bountiful … unto ages of ages.”

Thanks be to God, Who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor. 15:57)

To read the Akathist of Thanksgiving in its entirety see this website:

A CD version: & (the Akathist of Thanksgiving CD webpage of the Parish which produced the CD, with background info)

Another CD version by John Tavener: 

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The Holy Prophet Job

  25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
      And He shall stand at last on the earth; 

 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
      That in my flesh I shall see God,

 27 Whom I shall see for myself,
      And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
      How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27 , NKJV 

 The Holy Prophet Job is counted as an intercessor for persons suffering from depression and ulcers. Satan sought to disprove his faithfulness and devotion to God by destroying all Job had and afflicting his body with sores from his head to his foot. God allowed this test, and Job proved true; defeating the evil one’s purposes. The above quote from Job’s words taken from the Book of Job shows that he was such an exceeding godly man that he was made worthy of foreknowledge of the Messiah.   

The Book of Job, located in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, is a must read for persons with disabilities (if they are able to do so), their loved ones, friends, and fellow parishioners. Job is indeed a living icon of a sufferer who maintains his faith through most sore tragedies and affliction.

For more on the Book of Job, consider reading this recent publication: The Trial of Job: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Job 

See also (source of icon)

from Elder Paisios’ Epistles 6.7

 “Blessed are those who have been born crippled or became so due to their own carelessness, yet do not grumble but glorify God. They will hold the best place in Paradise along with the Confessors and Martyrs, who gave their hands and feet for the love of Christ and now constantly kiss with devoutness the hands and feet of Christ in Paradise.”

Epistles, Elder Paisios of Mount Athos; Holy Monaster “Evangelist John the Theologian” Soroti, Thessalonica, Greece, 2002, page 227.

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North American Distributor: 



St. John Chrysostom †407

  Today is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, the patron saint of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian parish my wife and I attend in York, PA. He was one of the Church’s greatest champions of a vigorous Christian life, a life which, he insisted, must include unconditional generosity and self-sacrifice. His continual insistence on this life of giving to those in need (without scrutiny or judgement as to whether they deserve it) in his homilies as Archbishop of Constantinople make him a natural choice as an intercessor for persons with disability. On western lists he is counted, in this regard, simply as an intercessor for epileptics. But I personally would not limit St. John Chrysostom in this regard. He is most certainly one of the most brightly shining Saints of the Church. He championed a life on earth that shines, and died, tragically, because of the dysfunctional machinations of the Church politics of his time. Truly his life reflected the Lord Jesus Christ, and he lives in Christ’s presence, glorifying Him, and making intercession for us.

My Master’s thesis: St. John Chrysostom and the Socialization of Persons with Developmental Disability: Patristic Inspiration for Contemporary Application

See especially pages 5-8 for a short summary of his life, and pages 8-21 for the many quotation I found from his homilies and words which show his desire that all Christians should be lavishly generous to those in need, and that such people also deserve respect and a place as well as roles in the the life of our parishes. 

My favorite quote by St. John Chrysostom: 

If you ever wish to associate with someone, make sure that you do not give your attention to those who enjoy health and wealth and fame as the world sees it, but take care of those in affliction, . . . in critical circumstances, . . . who are utterly deserted and enjoy no consolation. Put a high value on associating with these, for from them you shall receive much profit, . . . and you will do all to the glory of God. God Himself has said, ‘I am the Father of orphans and the protector of widows.

(Psalms 67:6)’” (Paul Harkin, ed. Ancient Christian Writers: St. John Chrysostom’s Baptismal Instructions, 6.12, pp. 97-98 )

Other online resources on St. John Chrysostom:


From the Orthodox Church of America website: 

The Paschal (Easter) Homily of St. John Chrysostom, read every Pascha in Orthodox Christian Churches (not long, but breathtakingly joyful): 

By an Antiochian Orthodox Christian teenager: 

Works on St. John Chrysostom as well as works by him (The collection is truly vast!): 

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remembering a disability awareness advocate- Jonathan Allen †2003

On November 11, 2003, JONATHAN RICHARD ALLEN; beloved husband of Barbara B. Allen; devoted father of Hans S. Allen and Anna E. Allen; beloved son of Lillian Eger of Sarasota, FL; dear brother of Joan Trickett, Liz Puffenberger and David Pridgeon. Jonathan became an Orthodox Christian in 1993. He was a founding member of Holy Cross Orthodox Church. He was active in the disability awareness program in Howard County Schools from 1984-2003. Friends may call at Holy Cross Orthodox Christian Church, 105 N. Camp Meade Road, Linthicum, MD 21090, on Friday, November 14, 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M. Funeral Service at Holy Cross Orthodox Church, on Saturday, November 15 at 10 A.M. Interment in Holy Trinity Orthodox Cemetery, Elkridge, MD. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Disability Awareness Program of Howard County, c/o Ladonna Rader, 4726 Hale Haven Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Am I my brother’s keeper? Who is my neighbor?

Guillermo Gomez-Sanchez, a man with mental disabilities, spent two years in immigration detention over a dispute concerning a bag of tomatoes. The following You Tube video tells the story of the abuse and neglect of this man:

Immigration detention is in the hands of private enterprise. The longer a person is in detention, the more the company profits. It’s a big money-maker, a great investment, at least in the eyes of those who bow down before the golden idol.

I visit detainees in a local prison. And I can tell you that justice works very, very slowly for immigration detainees, if at all. Months stretch into years. The truth is, I have seen a lot of outrageous outcomes for the detainees, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, whom I have visited.

Even though our Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal, our national policies in regard to detainees are declaring the very opposite of this.

Things I have seen or discovered:

Haitian detainees are deported to Haitian prisons where no medicine is given, and food is withheld for bribes. Not our problem? Are we are brother’s keeper?

Cain asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Paperwork snafus result in a year or more in detention, with wives and children suddenly called to fend for themselves. Not my neighbor? Not my problem? 

That was the lawyer’s question. (“Who is my neighbor?” from the story of the good Samaritan): 

A man tortured in an Egyptian prison seeks asylum under the Conventions Against Torture. Our government fights tooth and nail to send him back. Thank God, the Court of Appeals ruled in his favor.

There is never any hurry to expedite their releases, even when they win their cases. Judges rule in their favor, and the government appeals. And so many months go by, and their families suffer. Not our problem? Are we are brother’s keeper? Are we neighbors to such as Guillermo? 

Yes, we are. See

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