The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


09 November 2010

A Healing of Multiple Sclerosis

June 26, 1997
Dear Father Joseph,

As you requested I am writing down the events that surrounded my healing of Multiple Sclerosis through the prayers of Blessed John Maximovitch.

This illness started last spring when I began to experience heavy fatigue and a stiff back.  My doctor didn't find the cause of these symptoms until they became much worse in the fall.  By the end of October I was experiencing numbness in my left hand and a pain in my back that prompted my doctor to order many tests ending with an MRI in January.  The MRI showed Multiple Sclerosis lesions in  my neck and brain.  The one in my neck was radiating pain to the middle of my back.

At one point in the first episode I experienced numbness from my left hand to my left ear.  At the end of that attack [exacerbation] my left hand remained numb with what I understood to be permanent nerve damage.  I had the numbness all the time, for seven month, with no improvement until now.  I have also experienced constant ever-present pain in my back, some days worse than others, but ever-present pain since October.

I had a second M.S. episode starting in may with a numbness from my right foot to my right ear.  I also had a new area of pain in my back added to the first.

Tuesday of this week was the feast day of our local monastery, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  I was unable to attend the services because of severe pain in my back on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday afternoon I was struggling to take care of my three sons, ages 4, 7, and 8.  I tried to lie down because bed rest is the best medicine for this kind of pain but my children, being out of school for the summer, needed me to be up.

Just before 4 o'clock I laid on the sofa and cried and prayed to Blessed John that he would help me.  I got up, dried my eyes and went to make a phone call.  Five minutes later Jason Hagler was at the door.  He said his parents sent him over to take care of my boys so I could go to the monastery because there was a healing service starting at 5 o'clock.

Jason had walked over from his house because my phone was busy.  I found out the next day that his parents had been on their way home from the monastery and had a sense of urgency to let me know about the service.  At the time I was praying to Blessed John they were trying to find a pay phone in Toppenish.  They tried one that didn't work and then found one that did work.  They had tried to call me but I was on the phone so they then called Jason.

Seeing Jason's arrival as an answer to my prayer I left quickly for the monastery hoping for encouragement to endure my difficult situation.  I arrived a few minutes after the service had begun.

When the time came for people to receive anointing the four priests that were serving lined up before the altar.  I went forward and received anointing from Fr. Dimitri.  When I went back to my place I smelled something wonderful so I sniffed the chrism on my hands to see if that was the source of the fragrance.  It was not.  I looked for the censor and it was not near.  So I felt blessed and thankful and I continued to pray.

At the end of the service there was a meal and after that I went right home knowing that, with M.S., I usually get a migraine-like headache if I do too much.  I didn't get the headache so I went to bed thankful.

With M.S. I have had constant pain and I wake up with it every morning.  But this next morning I woke up with no pain.  I woke up early before the children, and I was afraid to get up because I assumed the pain would come back when I started moving around.  So I stayed in bed for half an hour.  I remembered that I had a dream just before I woke up.

I dreamt that I walked into Father Joseph's dining room and that he and Father Dimitri and three other priests [who I didn't recognize] were sitting quietly around a table in their black cassocks.  Each one was holding one or more "spirits" in his lap. I perceived that they were not good spirits.  I heard a voice say, "You don't have to worry about this one any more, it is slain." I looked again at the spirits to see what the words meant and I could see that the spirit in Father Dimitri's arms was dead.  Then I woke up.

I have been taught to be suspicious of dreams so I didn't think much about it.  After staying in bed a while I got up and started my day expecting the pain to return.  I still had the numbness in my left hand.  I had a lot of energy and was thankful for it.  The pain didn't come back all day so I went to Vespers.  I was able to stand for the entire service and do low bows. [I have been sitting in the back for seven months because of back pain!]  I was very excited about this so I pinched by numb left hand just to see if it was any better and it was.  I had pinched it to hard it hurt for a few minutes.  [I have had no feeling in this hand for seven months.]

The next morning I woke again with no pain and no numbness.  I felt weak but very well.  I reached Father Joseph by phone to tell him the good news and our parish offered a Moleiben service of thanksgiving that evening, last night.

Many prayers from many people have gone up before the throne of God on my behalf.  Glorious is our God in His saints.

[signed] Elizabeth Fitzgerald

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