Archive for December, 2011

Michael Anagnos (1837-1906)

Source: &

Michael Anagnos

  Michael Anagnos was a Greek Orthodox Christian who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1860s. Before this, in the process of supporting the revolutionary cause in Crete, he met Dr. Samuel Howe, founder of the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In America, he fell in love with and married Dr. Howe’s daughter Julia. Anagnos became increasingly involved in the Perkins Institute, and when Dr. Howe died, he became its head. He gave himself energetically to this work. Among his many accomplishments there, such as raising large sums for publishing books in Braille and putting them in all the libraries in Massachusetts, as well as beginning kindergartens and vocational schools for persons with visual disabilities, he is known for connecting Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller! 

Here is a quote by a student after Anagnos went home to the Lord:

His strength comforted our weakness, his firmness overcame our wavering ideas, his power smoothed away our obstacles, his noble unselfishness put to shame our petty differences of opinion, and his untiring devotion led us all to do our little as well as we could… Better than all, he taught us to the best of our ability to be men and women in our own homes.

from, according to the website listed above, Annie S. Beard’s Foreign Born Citizens (1922).

Other sources:

Zervanos, Nikitas J., Greek Immigration to America (PAHH, 2005) available at  

I discovered this story at Dr. Zervanos’  site. 

A letter from 13 year old Helen Keller to Mr. Michael Anagnos:  

A Google e-book on Michael Anagnos, by Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, written in 1906:  

Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan on You Tube:   

picture from 

Brazilian Orthodox Christian Hospitallers serving persons with disabilities

 A gentleman by the name of Mark Panos Alexandrides commented on my 2007 Post on the Hospitallers in September 2011. He shared with me the web page below which details the social health work of the Order in South America, in regard to the WHO program. Apparently these Orthodox Christian Brazilian Hospitallers are seeking to promote the implementation of the World Health Organization’s international classification of functioning, disability, and health in Brazil. Their aims include the transformation of the country of Brazil’s response to persons with disabilities.  Here are the sources for this.  May God grant them success in their worthy endeavor!

For translation: 

The following websites are in Portuguese; use the translator above as needed.

The Main Site 

See also:  

Image from  

In winter when all the world is gloomy, forth came the Fair One Who cheered all in the world!

from St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns on the Nativity:

the Nativity of Christ ”  . . . In December when the nights are long, rose unto us the Day, of Whom there is no bound! In winter when all the world is gloomy, forth came the Fair One Who cheered all in the world! In winter that makes the earth barren, virginity learned to bring forth. In December, that causes the travails of the earth to cease, in it were the travails of virginity. . . .

Glory to that Voice Which became Body, and to the Word of the High One Which became Flesh! Hear Him also, O ears, and see Him, O eyes, and feel Him, O hands, and eat Him, O mouth! . . .

It was by Power from Him that Mary was able to bear in Her bosom Him that bears up all things! It was from the great storehouse of all creatures, Mary gave Him all which she did give Him! She gave Him milk from Himself that prepared it, she gave Him food from Himself that made it! He gave milk unto Mary as God: again He sucked it from her, as the Son of Man. Her hands bare Him in that He had emptied His strength; and her arm embraced Him, in that He had made Himself small. The measure of His Majesty who has measured? He caused His measures to shrink into a Raiment. She wove for Him and clothed Him because He had put off His glory. She measured Him and wove for Him, since He had made Himself little. . . .

The sea when it bore Him was still and calmed, and how came the lap of Joseph to bear Him? The womb of hell conceived Him and was burst open, and how did the womb of Mary contain Him? The stone that was over the grave He broke open by His might, and how could Mary’s arm contain Him? Thou camest to a low estate, that Thou mightest raise all to life! Glory be unto Thee from all that are quickened by Thee! . . .  “(Hymn 3)

St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns of Nativity, Hymn 3, from

Nativity Icon from Rockland 

Nativity Icon Explained

Saint Balthasar

The Wise Men


 St. Balthasar is counted as an intercessor for persons with epilepsy. He was one of the three magi who, according to their reading of the star, traveled from the east, bringing gifts to our Lord when he was an infant in Bethlehem.


source of icon: 

“The Ministry of Suffering”

From St. Aidan Orthodox Church, South Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada :

The Ministry of Suffering

. . . Indeed, I would be so bold as to say that chronic suffering is the most important of all ministries.  . . .

Jesus became incarnate to enter into our suffering. And those who suffer “live the Cross.” This ministry of patient endurance in a very basic way reveals Christ more powerfully than religious activities (such as writing Orthodox Christian blog posts). 

Read this short, inspiring post here: 

Saint Genesius of Rome †303

St. Genesius of Rome

Saint Genesius of Rome is counted an intercessor for persons with epilepsy. He was an actor, who sought to portray Christian baptism as a farce, in a derogatory fashion. But on the day of his performance, he became sick, and,  fearing death, expressed a desire to become a Christian. The show proceeded, with Emperor Diocletian and his retinue present. As the theatrical “baptism” proceeded, performed with mocking intent and received with much jeering laughter, St. Genesius, after having received the pouring of the water on his head, proclaimed with great earnestness his renunciation of idols and his faith in Christ- in truth! He exhorted all, including Diocletian, to do the same.  Diocletian, realizing the sincerity of St. Genesius’ words, ordered him to be beaten publically and   imprisoned. And he was to be tortured daily until he renounced Christ. But St. Genesius continued his bold confession of faith to his jailers, and  Diocletian eventually ordered that he be beheaded. In this way St. Genesius was martyred for Christ in Rome in the year 303 A.D.

  artist Richard Moore with his painting

St. Apollinaris of Ravenna †79

St. Apollinaris of Ravenna

 St. Apollinaris is counted as an intercessor of persons who suffer from epilepsy and gout. He was from Antioch, Syria. The Apostle Peter ordained him and sent him to Ravenna as this city’s first bishop. There, he healed the blind son of a soldier (which would make him also an appropriate intercessor for persons with visual impairments).  Pagan priests aroused the people against him, and he was severely beaten. Later he was tortured and boiled in oil. Surviving this, he was exiled to Illyria, where he evangelized and saw many conversions. But he again was attacked by the pagans and sent back to Italy, where he suffered imprisonment and another beating. He died July 23, 79  A.D.


Picture from



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