Archive for March, 2012

Convent of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth, 4: Pictures

These pictures are eloquent, beyond my poor ability to describe them. See for yourself:

The same webpage run through Google translator. The section titles are below the pictures, not above. Even though the titles are much closer to the pictures below, they describe the ones above the title. Here’s the web address for the English translation: 


Church-State Cooperation in Russia

St. Elizabeth's Convent, Minsk

  (in regard to children’s rights as well as their protection)

His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill met with the Russian children’s rights ombudsman Paul Astakhov last December to work out a joint action plan, and discussed joint projects. They sought to assure that 

 “each child, especially orphans and the handicapped . . . are protected. “

Read the entire article:  

About Pavel Astakhov: 

Pavel Astakhov on equal treatment for children with disabilities:  

NOTE: The care depicted in the picture from St. Elizabeth Convent is not, as far as I am aware,  an instance of Church-State cooperation. Source: 

Deacon Philip Gilbert †1997

 Paramedic, Deacon, lover of God.

An accident that occurred during his duties as a paramedic resulted in paralysis. The following account is about him. There is a very touching account of his return to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero, Illinois (where the miraculous weeping icon “Our Lady of Cicero” is located) after the accident. Its a truly inspirational story, an inspirational life.

As our goal is to reflect our Lord Jesus Christ, the Cross, in its various forms designed for each of us, will be borne. And as we know from our liturgical life, “through the Cross joy has come into all the world.”  For following the faithful bearing of the Cross is resurrection and ascension to the glorious presence of God.

Access the whole story here:

Source of Icon (Our Lady of Cicero):

St. Vitus †303


St. Vitus

  The holy martyr St. Vitus was a wonderworker; many were healed and converted by his prayers and preaching. His father followed counsel to turn Vitus away from Christ by means of luxuries and other temptations, to no avail. The Emperor Diocletian himself offered St. Vitus even greater allurements to renounce Christ. St. Vitus stood firm.

Having failed to turn St. Vitus from the Lord, Diocletian resorted first to boiling oil, and then lions, and then hung Vitus and the other holy martyrs upside down to be torn with iron hooks. An earthquake intervened, and the martyrs were delivered. An angel took the martyrs away to Lucanium; St. Vitus prayed that the Lord would receive their souls and deliver all who would honor their memory. Their prayer was heard. St. Vitus suffered with St. Modestus and St. Crescentia in 303 A.D. He is counted as intercessor for those with epilepsy, St. Vitus Dance, rheumatic chorea, among other things. (See the last website below) from

Icon from 

Concerning St. Vitus as an intercessor

St. Willibrord of Echternach †685


St. Willibrord

 St. Willibrord was a Christian bishop from Britain; he evangelized the Frisians in what is now Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, traveling the land and ordaining priests for each village he evangelized. He is known as the apostle to the Frisians. He is counted as an intercessor for persons with epilepsy and convulsions.


picture from

Convent of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth, 3: the Farm

The Farmstead is described as “an oasis in a sea of sin.” It is a place where wounded people find renewal, as they involve themselves in agriculture, construction, and other useful activities. Included in the following description are three testimonies to personal renewal.

1. The Farmstead

2. Useful activity and prayer. Struggles. Creation, growth, transfiguration.

3. Rehabilitation on the Farmstead 

Central Asian sheepdogs are bred for shepherding and also as watch dogs.

The Breeding Kennel

St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner †30

St. John the Baptist and Forerunner

St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ (“He must increase, but I must decrease.”) was born of Zachariah and Elizabeth six months before our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Most Holy Theotokos, having conceived the Lord by the Holy Spirit, visited Elizabeth toward the end of her pregnancy with St. John, St. John leaped in the womb with joy at her and His approach.

He lived in the desert, eating locusts and honey, and baptized repentant Jews in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. And then the Lord Jesus came to be baptized by him, and he, of course, felt unworthy, but was encouraged by the Lord to proceed. He saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ and testified to it, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God Who comes to take away the sin of the world!”

After denouncing Herod for his illicit marriage, he was put in prison, and later, as a result of intrigue, beheaded. He was the last and greatest of the prophets.The Gospels tell this story far better. Be sure to read them.

He is counted as an intercessor for persons with epilepsy.


The Meaning of the Feasts of the Nativity and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist & 

icon from 


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