Update: Jorge and Stefanida were interviewed on Ancient Faith Radio on Thursday, October 4, 2018. Listen to the broadcast at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/everydayorthodox/meet_jorge_and_stefanida_luque.
Many of you have been following the story of Jorge and Stefanida who were who were married on July 15 this year. Shortly after they met, Jorge was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. You can read the backstory at https://www.gofundme.com/JorgeLuqueCancer, a Go Fund Me page set up for Jorge by his friends. Since that was written, Jorge has had more surgeries: the removal of his nose and part of his upper lip and the removal of lymph nodes. The most recent news is that he will be starting a course of radiation very soon. His treatment will be five days a week for six weeks.
Jorge and Stefanida have turned to St. Nectarios of Aegina, asking him to intercede for Jorge. They have expressed that when they pray to him, they feel his presence with them. They have even taken the icon of St. Nectarios with them to doctor visits. Many of you have been praying for them and now we ask that you might join in praying the Akathist to St. Nectarios found at http://www.angelfire.com/planet/parastos/akathistnectarios.html.
Thousands of miracles have been attributed to the intercession of St. Nectarios, particularly cases of cancer or other serious illnesses being cured.
The Orthodox Church honors saints not as gods, but as faithful servants, as holy men and friends of God. It extols the struggles they engaged in and the deeds they performed for the glory of God with the action of His grace, in such a way that all the honor that the Church gives them refers to the Supreme Being, who has viewed their life on earth with gratification.
About St. Nectarios
St. Nectarios, whose given name was Anastasios, was from a very poor family in nineteenth century
Selybria, in Thrace. He attempted to board a ship to Constantinople to find work, but he had no money for a ticket. The engines of the ship roared, yet it would not move until young Anastasios was permitted aboard. In route, the sea raged, but Anastasios dipped his cross, which contained a piece of the True Cross, into the water three times, praying “Silence! Be still.” The waters became still, but he lost his cross. As the ship continued, a loud continuous knocking was heard from beneath the ship. When they arrived at their destination, the sailors found the cross stuck to the bottom of the ship, as if the holy Cross of our Lord led the ship. When he was 29 years of age, he became a monk on the island of Chios. The patriarch sent him to study theology in Athens, and he was ordained Priest Nectarios (when you become a monk your name is changed), and later the Bishop of Pentapolis.
However, owing to jealousy and alleged improprieties, he was removed from office, only to be rejected again in Athens and island of Euboiea. He suffered as a pauper, but he persevered, and his integrity and his wisdom shone through. The people of Euboiea embraced him. He became the Dean of the School of Theology in Athens in 1910, helped begin a convent, and became a spiritual father with healing powers for many throughout Greece. Ten years later, he was taken from Aegina to a hospital ward in Athens for the poor and incurable. He gave up his spirit there, and as they prepared him for burial, his sweater was placed on the nearby bed of a paralytic, who suddenly regained his strength and walked. The room, which has since become a chapel, was filled with a beautiful fragrance for many days after his repose in the Lord our God.
Healings are seen throughout the world to this day by the saint’s holy prayers. He is considered the patron saint of those with cancer, heart trouble, arthritis, for those who are seeking a job, and those with epilepsy.
St. Nectarios lived from 1846 until 1920. On November 9th, (1920) St. Nectarios reposed in the Lord. The Feast day for St. Nectarios is 9 November. Professor John E. Rexine, of Colgate University wrote the following:
“Widely known among the Orthodox as a great miracle-worker, particularly as a healer of every sort of disease, St. Nectarios was a many-sided personality. He was a prolific writer, theologian, philosopher, moralist, educator, poet, ascetic and mystic.”
The above source on the life Saint Nectarios is from “THE ORTHODOX CALENDAR,” Copyright 1995
An appeal: Let’s embrace Jorge and Stefanida with our prayers for a miraculous healing! Don’t hesitate to contact them or greet them in church with your best wishes and expression of concern. Exercise your faith on their behalf.
An interesting video, What do you mean, ‘Pray to the Saints’ can be viewed at https://www.theoria.tv/what-do-you-mean-pray-to-the-saints/.
Writer Anna Glass is a member of Joy and serves on the Board and the Capital Campaign Steering Committee. Comments on and submissions to the blog may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.