Archive for July, 2016

The Venerable Lazarus: Our Intercessor before the Lord

The Venerable Lazarus is counted as an intercessor for persons with leprosy.

Here is his story from the Gospel of St. Luke:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[a] from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” St. Luke 16:19-31 

A sermon on Lazarus and the rich man given by Fr. George Calciu (2006) in November 2005: 

Ten Questions and Answers concerning Lazarus and the rich man: 

St. John Chrysostom on Wealth and Poverty: A Thematic Study of St. John Chrysostom’s Sermons on St. Luke 16:19-31: 

Two Audio Sermons on Lazarus and the rich man & 


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Last July 26th, an important anniversary; Dr. Vicki Pappas Reflects


Click on the orange to access:

Dr. Vicki Pappas of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America reflects on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Some info on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act & What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

 Welcome to the Americans With Disabilities Act National Network

Through its ten regional centers, the ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Our services are tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. Read our success stories.

A testimonial to Dr. Vicki Pappas on the occasion of her early retirement from Indiana University: Facebook: Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University

Dr. Pappas is now involved with National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians  At one time she served as the National Forum’s chairman.


Saint Paraskevi the Great Martyr of Rome ☦140

St. Parasceva of Rome

St. Paraskevi is the patron Saint of eye health.

During the era when the Roman Empire was persecuting the Church, while she was young she gave away all her possessions and traveled around, evangelizing.

She was arrested and tortured, and thrown into a vat of boiling pitch, which did not, miraculously, affect her at all. The Emperor Pius, who was present, asked her by what magic she cooled the pitch. She threw him some of the hot pitch, which burned him and blinded his eyes. The Emperor screamed and pleaded for St. Parasceva to heal him. And she did. He immediately ended the persecution of Christians.

But after he died, the new Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, renewed the persecution. St Parasceva, who continued to preach, was arrested and thrown into a pit with a snake. She made the sign of the cross and immediately it died. Eventually Saint Parasceva was beheaded for Christ.

Her story: Full of Grace and Truth: Saint Paraskevi the Great Martyr of Rome

A story of healing: Once I was blind 

A place of healing: Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church 

See also: OCA: Martyr Parasceva of Rome 

Icon from Paraskevi, the Righteous Martyr of Rome 
Apolytikion of St. Paraskevi the Great Martyr – 1st Tone
Your diligence corresponded to your name, Paraskevi, which denotes preparedness. Through faith you inherited the promised dwelling that was prepared for you, O prize-winning Martyr. Therefore you pour out cures and healings, and you intercede on behalf of our souls.
Kontakion – 4th Tone. You appeared today.
We have found your sacred shrine to be a clinic of the soul, O holy one, and all we faithful now accord honor to you with our voices strong, devout Martyr Paraskevi extolled by all.

The voice of the Bridegroom called you as a bride, and gave you an incorruptible crown, O godly-minded and all glorious Paraskevi; and He enrolled you, as one worthy, together with the august martyrs and prizewinners. As you rejoice with them, remember us who observe your holy feast and who assemble in your church. For as we stand in it now, we soulfully offer up hymns to you, devout Martyr Paraskevi extolled by all.
Prosomoia of the Praises – 1st Tone. For the celestial orders.
Dancing in chorus in heaven and in the courts of the Lord * with those renowned wise virgins, O devout holy Martyr, * most wise Paraskevi, you were given the grace * from the Lord to cure illnesses, * and to expel the unclean spirits and to heal * those who come to you for this with faith.
You dashed the might of the godless impious kings to the ground, * and unto God, O Virgin, * you directed your footsteps. * Therefore you were not frightened by the lead * hammers pounding you, nor the fire, * nor by the scraping of your body, nor by the heat * of the cauldron, nor the death by sword.
Firstly you wore out your body with your ascetic feats, * fair Virgin, then you hardened * your resolve in the contest. * Thus, O holy glorious Martyr of Christ, * you became like a holy sword * wrought in the heavens, like gold smelted and refined * by the tortures you endured for God.


from Bipolar Disorder in the Hellenic Community

St. Hermione

From the Greek American girl (who writes from personal experience): Bipolar Disorder in the Hellenic Community

The post is very serious and informative, addressing the topic with depth. We learn of the International Bipolar Foundation and the Hellenic Bipolar Organization; there are statistics and there are stories, some of them about very caring people.

In regard to the Orthodox Church and life in Christ, the Greek American girl has this page: It’s Your Saint Day

icon from 

St. Apollinaris of Ravenna †79

St. Apollinaris of Ravenna

July 23 is the Feast Day for 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.


Orthodox Church in America: Hieromartyr Apollinaris the Bishop of Ravenna 

Picture from


toward better accessibility for visually impaired persons

Recently Khorea Frederica Matthewes-Green, wife of Archpriest Gregory Matthewes-Green, the spiritual Father and Pastor of the parish of Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, interviewed Tim Mehok of Saints Peter & Paul OCA Church in Lorain, Ohio. Tim has visual impairments, and he has some insights as to how parishes can improve their service to people with visual impairments. This is a 21 minute audio interview from Ancient Faith Radio from March 10, 2011:

Ancient Faith: Visually Impaired Persons

Tim mentions a lot of practical issues, such as the fact that people with visual impairments need help with transportation, since they can’t drive. He also mentions how helpful bells on the censers are.

There was also discussion concerning the value of 3-D icons which have a tactile element. There are parishes in Russia which are addressing this, but of course the need is everywhere. Here is one of  them: 

  Incendiary: Icons for the Blind

Tim mentioned some online resources which could make websites accessible to persons with visual impairment: 

GWMicro Freedom Scientific 35 Secrets of Being a Special Needs Parent

To access: 35 Secrets of Being a Special Needs Parent

This website is an online gathering place for parents of children with disabilities. The 35 secrets are helpful sayings by these parents, some encouraging and some a reckoning with the challenge such parents face. And some are a combination of the two. This is just one of many posts on The posts are both encouraging and informative. on the site; The posts are both encouraging and informative. The site can  also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and also Pinterest


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