Child-bearing Helps Mother Defeat Cancer and TB

The cases in which people win against difficult diseases such as cancer impress both by the way in which the afflicted ones manage not to be brought down by pain and despair, and by the way in which God works in their life and of those around them, for the healing of their body and soul. The case of Daniela Popa, from Bucharest, is a special one, since added to her cancer problem was tuberculosis; and in addition to all that, God blessed her with being a mother for the third time. Daniela and Richard Popa understood the meaning of these trials, received them with open hearts, and through faith and much prayer they managed to defeat them.

Left: Mrs. Daniela Popa and her son, Antonie

Daniela: I found out about my illness in May, 2005, when my husband Richard was away in Mount Athos. I started having high fever, which was growing higher by the day. When Richard came back from Mount Athos, I had a biopsy taken and the result was lymphocyte depleted Hodgkin lymphoma [Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer of the lymphatic system, where the lymphatic cells come to divide abnormally and spread outside the lymphatic system (editor’s note)].

How does the disease manifest itself?

D.: By fever, fatigue, sweat – I felt I lacked strength completely and my neck glands started to swell. At that point, the disease was in stage 2 and I decided to follow a naturist treatment. However, the treatment had no effect and the disease developed very fast; and in September, I got to stage 4. The fever was higher, my ganglions had grown bigger and I was itching all over my body. Continue reading

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About Love

Excerpt from an interview with Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi

I would also like to ask you, whilst remaining in the area of our discussion so far: what were those existential experiences that made you become a monk?

– Usually, people who have gone through atheism expect or think that one must have had some sentimental breakdown prior to going into monasticism as well as before any common conversion to Christianity. The reality is different. Usually, one assumes that he or she has had some disappointments [in love]. I have recently received a letter from a friend of mine, a poet who lives in Iaşi and with whom I used to go to the same literary club, who wrote to me: “You know, I, too, read the Holy Fathers, I like their writings; I go to church. I have also thought many times about taking the step you have – but you see, I still believe in love”. And I could not help smiling there, because… I believe in love, too; don’t I? And I believe even in the love between a man and a woman. But I have come to understand that the difference between the love poems I used to write – albeit very sincerely – and true love is like the difference between the dead Lazarus and the resurrected Lazarus. Continue reading