June 10, 2016

An Ecclesiastical Perspective of my Surgery Yesterday

Dear Friends:

As I mentioned earlier this week, yesterday I went in for a surgery, specifically to remove a kidney stone which had not moved in six weeks (one of a list of ailments I have suffered in the past few months), and it was successfully removed without any problems or complications. For this I thank all those who sent their well wishes to me and prayed for my healing and speedy recovery.

This ministry is called the Mystagogy Resource Center because it provides resources not only for knowledge, but for practical purposes as well, all with the aim of providing a holistic Orthodox Christian perspective. This even means that if someone like me is suffering in their kidneys, they should do a search through the many pages I have published with the search engine at the top of the websites, and what will happen is they will find the following, which I personally found very helpful for myself as I approached the day of my very first surgery.

1. First I came across a post titled "The Pastoral Use of the Book of Psalms by St. Arsenios of Cappadocia", where I read that St. Arsenios would read Psalm 44 (45 LXX) over those who suffered from an ailment with their kidneys.

2. Then I read how St. Marina is recognized by the medical world as the protectress of nephrology, or the patron saint of kidney sufferers.

3. I also read about certain Saints who suffered specifically in their kidneys, such as St. John Chrysostom who due to his strenuous asceticism in his youth suffered for the rest of his life with kidney and stomach problems, and in the story of the Holy Five Martyrs of Sebaste the Holy Martyr Mardarios had his kidneys and back burnt with a burning rod.

4. There are also other stories of kidney sufferers, such as Elder Ambrose Lazaris who suffered from a walnut-sized kidney stone and was due to go to surgery but was miraculously healed by St. Nektarios, also a monk from the Holy Mountain named Daniel who suffered in his kidneys and was helped by St. Panteleimon, and of a man in China who had converted to Orthodoxy and suffered in his kidneys.

5. As I searched I read even more of people who were miraculously healed of their kidney ailments, such as through St. Irene Chrysovalantou (here and here), St. John the Forerunner (here), Saint Cyril VI (here), and St. Evdokimos the Newly-Revealed (here).

6. Lastly, by looking up the feasts of the Saints this week, I also read how two days after my surgery, on June 11th, it is the feast of St. Luke the Surgeon, through whom many miracles are attributed, and in his life time contributed to the progress of anesthesia.

By this means I was greatly benefited and encouraged as I approached my surgery yesterday, and it helped me approach it through an ecclesiastical perspective.

Though I have a more minor procedure next Thursday, I plan on returning to my regular posting next week. Currently we are at 70% of our goal for this fundraising campaign. This weekend my goal is to at least reach 75%, at which time an anonymous donor has pledged the last 25%. Please help us reach our goal.

Thank you!

John Sanidopoulos

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