Thursday, October 29, 2009

Innisbrook Wrapping Paper Fundraiser for Agia Sophia Academy!

My school's annual fundraiser with Innisbrook has begun. Innisbrook Wraps has beautifully designed gift wrap printed on quality recycled paper, coordinating gift wrap accessories,gourmet foods and fine Helen Grace Chocolates that make great gifts, Time Inc. magazine subscriptions, and more. For every item that is purchased, Innisbrook donates up to 50% of the purchase price to my school. I also earn a prize credit for every item purchased except school supplies. The more prize credits I earn, the more prizes I win! Please consider visiting the Innisbrook website and making a purchase on my behalf. A link is included below. Our sale will be over soon, so don't wait. Place your order today. Thanks for your help!
Seller: PAVLOS
Seller ID# R473422E
School Number: 112949
Click the link below to visit and they will recognize me and my school automatically.
If the above link does not work:
1. Click below
2. Enter the Seller ID# R473422E

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honoring a Saint: St. Nektarios in Our Lives

(this is the article I wrote on St. Nektarios for our parish November monthly newsletter)

Apolytikion of St. Nektarios
The offspring of Selyvria and the guardian of Aegina, the true friend of virtue who didst appear in the last years, O Nektarios, we faithful honour thee as a godly servant of Christ, for thou pourest forth healings of every kind for those who piously cry out: Glory to Christ Who hath glorified thee. Glory to Him Who hath made thee wonderous. Glory to Him Who worketh healings for all through thee.

St. Nektarios was born in 1846 and reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios was a pious bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Other clergy, jealous of Nektarios’ favor with the Patriarch, spread slanderous rumors about him, which caused him to be exiled from Egypt. He went to Greece but because of the rumors he had a difficult time finding work within the church. He settled in Athens, where, due to his popularity among the people, he eventually became the Dean of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. Later he founded a women’s monastery on the island of Aegina where he retired when his health failed. He reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios is commemorated on November 9th.

Rather than write an article about St. Nektarios’ life I am going to write about our own experience with this wonderful Saint. First, I would like to share St. Nektarios’ first miracle right after his repose. On November 9, 1920, St. Nektarios fell asleep in the Lord. “However, even in death St. Nektarios continues to perform miracles, the first of which occurred in the very hospital room in which he died. With the passing of St. Nektarios, a hospital nurse, assisted by a nun from the monastery, immediately began to change his clothes and threw his undershirt on the next bed. In this bed lay a paralytic, who once the undershirt landed upon him, was instantly healed and jumped out of bed praising God for his miraculous healing. This was the first of many miracles that St. Nektarios began to perform in death.” (

There is a special place in our hearts for St. Nektarios. To pinpoint exactly when, where, and how St. Nektarios entered into our lives is difficult. I do know that it wasn’t just my family or Paul’s family that loves St. Nektarios; but both of our families have a devotion to this modern day Saint of the Last Days.

Someone very close to us was taken in an ambulance to the emergency room with symptoms of a stroke. While waiting for the doctor, this person was anointed with oil from St. Nektarios and immediately, all the signs of the stroke disappeared. This person walked out of the hospital! This miracle touched our family very deeply.

A few months later, we found out that we were expecting our first child. During the first trimester of my pregnancy with Pavlos my parents went to Greece. While there, they made their first trip to Aegina to venerate the relics of St. Nektarios (knowing about the above miracle). My parents, knowing that I have chronic health problems and that pregnancy could potentially be very difficult for me, brought back some Holy Oil from the monastery. Paul anointed me every night during that pregnancy. And we prayed that, through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, God would protect me and our unborn child. The pregnancy progressed with none of the scary complications that the doctors said would happen. We did not know whether we were having a girl or a boy but we had decided to name our child some form of the name “Nektarios” to honor this saint and his having protected me and the baby. And then Pavlos was born and we named him Pavlos Nektarios (Pavlos after Paul’s father and Nektarios after our beloved St. Nektarios.

Most of you remember our second pregnancy with Petros Nektarios. Again, Paul anointed me daily and we decided, again, that if we were to become pregnant our child would have some form of the name “Nektarios”. I did eventually become pregnant with Petros but this time I developed some very scary complications. I ended up in the hospital for almost two months. Paul would come to the hospital to visit me and often anointed me with oil from St. Nektarios. Now we were praying that through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, the Lord would continue to protect me and our unborn child. Petros was born at 33 weeks during an emergency c-section. He spent the first month of his life in the NICU with an icon of the Theotokos and an icon of St. Nektarios. It was a difficult time and we are very thankful that through St. Nektarios, God strengthened us to be able to endure that trial.

And now we have two very beautiful, healthy boys. Through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, may the Lord have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Win Flour...

Enter to win King Arthur Flour over here. While we do not use a lot of flour in our home, this is an excellent brand and I can always use flour to make prosforo or artoklassia for church:)

An email from our church secretary...

We are planning to go on Wednesday evening. The Icon came to Portland 5 or 6 years ago. A member of our parish called us a few hours before the service but there was really no way for us to get out to Mulino in time. God-willing, we will make it this year!!!

The miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God will visit two parishes in Oregon this week. Both Fr. James and Fr. Sergei have sent invitations to the Orthodox faithful to come and venerate the icon and participate in the prayer services.

St. Martin the Merciful Russian Orthodox Church
Fr. James Baglien
925 NW Camellia Drive, Corvallis
Friday 10/9 at 7p.m., Moleiben & Akathist

Holy New Martyrs Russian Orthodox Church
Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov
13820 S. Union Hall Road, Mulino – approx. 15 minutes east of Oregon City
Wednesday 10/14 6:30p.m., Akathist

You can learn more about the Kursk Icon here.

And for news and pictures of the icon’s visit to Kursk on Sept. 27th go here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

what to do with the blog?

My last post was July 27. uhm. well. OK. So I'm not sure what I am doing with this blog. And I am not sure why I can't seem to find time to post anything. Maybe it's because the old brain isn't able to think of anything to post that would be of interest to the entire world:)

Just letting you all know that I am here, I am alive, and I am still reading your blogs via bloglines. Take care and maybe I will think of something to post (I am supposed to write an article about St. Nektarios for our church bulletin so maybe I will post that here when it is finished).