St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Touching the hem of His Garment

In Mark chapter 5 we find the story of Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. We find two people who were in desperate need of a miracle. Also we see at the beginning of the story that as Jesus got off of the boat that a huge crowd gathered around him. People were crowding Jesus so much that he could hardly get off the boat. And as he made his way through the crowd, Jairus came to him, as he made his way through this swarm of people, and fell on his knees before Jesus and asked him to come heal his daughter who was at the point of death.

Then as Jesus was making his way to Jairus' house we see that a woman with an issue of blood made her way through a crowd ,and eventually having to get on her knee so that she could touch the hem of his garment. They both were people who had to push their way through the crowds to get to Jesus, to get to their breakthrough, to obtain a miracle.

Just as they had to make their way through a literal crowd of people; they also had to make their way through figurative crowds as we also have to do if we want to see miracles. If we want to get to our breakthrough we will have to push through the crowds, crowds of our unbelief, crowds of our faithlessness, crowds of our envy, crowds of our unforgiveness.....

Icon of the "Woman with the Issue of Blood" housed at Holy Trinity Kellia, St. Simeon Skete

We use the story of the Lady with the Issue of Blood and the Icon that depicts this story quite often at the Skete to push through the crowds to touch the hem of Christ's garment in intercession for a loved one.  

The Prayer Rope (the third strand of the Nazareth Prayer Rope, known as the Jesus Life  Rosary) has a sixth decade for additional needs & mysteries. The sixth decade can be used for any of the mysteries in the Bible, including old testament events.  A while back a two year old girl came down with a life threatening blood disorder and her parents asked Seraphim to pray. He began using the new testament episode of the woman with the blood disorder who touched the hem of Jesus garment. (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 5:25-34; Lk 8:43-48; Mt.14:35-36). This is prayed as a continuation of the Rosary utilizing the Sixth decade (note one can pray the Fifth decade over for the Sixth). One could issue what would be called “The Sixth Decade” in which a Mystery from our Lordʼs Life relative to the decades intention could be prayed. Following are some examples:

  • 1. Healing: the man lowered through the roof by his friend (MK. 2:1-12) Jesus listens to the prayers of friends.
  • 2. Jesus working with Joseph as a carpenter (Mk. 6:1-6)
  • 3. Hand - the man with the withered hand (Mk 3:1-6). Iʼve been praying this for James.
  • 4. Touch - the ten lepers (LK. 17:11-19). Unworthy of the touch of man, worthy of the touch of God. (1 out of 10 are thankful) (James 1:17)
  • 5. Seeing: Blindman at Jericho (MK. 10:46-52)
  • 6. Recognizing Jesus - Emmaus road in the breaking of the bread (Lk 24:13-35)
  • 7. Manna in the Wilderness: (Ex. 16:4-36) Definition of manna - “We donʼt know what this is”. Sweetness for the journey but just enough for the day 
  • 8. Vocation:
  •   A. The Search (Jn. 1:35-39) “come and see”
  •   B. The Call (Mk. 1:17-20) “come after me”
  •   C. Fidelity (Lk. 9:57-62) those who look back are not fit for the Kingdom 
  •   D. Fidelity to the end (Jn 21:18-22) “You are to follow Me”

The following are some intentions for “The Sixth Decade” 

1. Human trafficking (Mt. 18: 6-7)
Killing children unborn (Ex. 20:13; Mt. 18-6)
Grinding poverty (IJohn 3:17)
4. War (Ps. 68:30; 12:7; Isa.2:4; James 4:13; Ex. 20:13)
Greed - banking system (James 5:1-6; Ps. 20:7; Lk. 12:33)
Religion (Lk. 11:37-54)
The Underground Church/Remnant (Jer.23:3; Rom. 11:5)
8. Nazareth House Apostolate. The Little Flock (Rom.8:36; Lk.12:32-33); Anawim

(Zeph. 2:3); Little Children (I John 2:18); Fools for Christ (I Cor. 1:18-25; 4: 10-13)
9. Secularism
10.Rosary of Presence (Mt.5:13-14; 13:33; John 15:5) Note: Going to Africa made me realize how to seek to live a Rosary of Presence,a theology of Presence as a form of evangelism, a simple idea of being (Ps. 19:3,4) - “Their words arenʼt heard, their voices arenʼt recorded, but their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere” - Petersonʼs translation  

In light of recent illnesses we have been using this "6th Decade" when praying the Rosary: 

“Touching the Hem of His Garment
Scripture: Mk. 5:24-34; Mt.14:35-36

“Jesus your Life living in me.”

  1. in our midst...
  2. our hope...
  3. to which I bring my bleeding and spent life...
  4. of which I hear is near...
  5. I see...
  6. for which I push through crowdedness...
  7. for which I reach out...
  8. for which I reach out in faith...
  9. touching the hem of your garment...
  10. “Jesus your Life is living in me healing the hemorrhaging of my life.”  
From our dear friend, Fr. Gabriel Harty, OP we have this prayer to be said after each decade of the Healing Rosary:

"God our Father, we press our open wounds to the precious wounds of Jesus, your Son, that your will and ours be one.  Through these shared wounds, may we be healed, and bring your healing love to others, that all may be enriched in fulness of love, through Jesus, the Divine Humanity." Amen. 

Fr. Gabriel says " The Rosary is not simply a prayer for healing, it is a healing prayer, a prayer that heals. In other words, when we pray the Rosary we experience the healing Jesus is." 

"Lord Jesus, the woman who touched the hem of your cloak
was healed of her illness.  Through these Rosary Beads
I now touch, as it were, the hem of your garment.  Let me have
faith to receive the healing you wish to give me through this rosary." 

Fr. Gabriel goes on to say in his book "The Riches of the Rosary", 

"There's healing in touching the very beads themselves, a lowly healing maybe, yet something basic and instinctive.  When all around is collapsing and the center cannot hold, it is something to latch on to...Something to hold onto, indeed.  But more importantly, someone to hold on to! It is the Nurse of heaven who holds the other end of the golden string."

"Jesus, whom we touch in every mystery of the Rosary, is still the source of power and the author of healing.  As we make contact with the simple string of beads, it is as if we were touching the hem of His garment, the very edge of eternity.  I always like to place the focus of healing on touching the person of the Lord rather than the actual beads.  I invite people to enter into the contemplative flow of the prayer and to make contact with the life - giving mysteries which are the soul of the Rosary. I composed the following prayer which brings our personal experience into line with the life-experience of the Lord Himself:

"Jesus, Son of the living God, I desire to recall the memory of your healing life, death and glory.  Through the power of your saving mysteries, touch every area of my being. Let my coming into this world be renewed by your own birth at Bethlehem.  Let your precious death remove from me all fear of death. Grant me to know the power which comes from your glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven.  Through the grace of these Rosary Mysteries, touch every area of my life and be Lord of all that I am and all that I have.

O Mary, who first opened herself to this new creation, pray for me, a sinner, that I may be renewed in the love of my Lord."  (pgs 74-77 "Riches of the Rosary" - Fr. Gabriel Harty, OP)


In the Icon featured above,  they do not show the crowd that the woman pushed through to touch the hem of Jesus' clothing.  It is a method of iconography to allow some details to the viewer while the iconographer writes (paints) only the focal points of the scene.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Epiphany 2013

The traditions of Epiphany were carried out at St. Simeon Skete today as usual.  All of the doors were blessed.

After Mass, carrying the Cross for 2013,

we hiked down to bless St. Arsenius Hermitage

for the "Blessing of the Doors".   Anna House, The Sanctuary of the Holy Name, the Kellia and other buildings on the main property was blessed before Mass.

From the hermitage we hiked our way down

to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers.

There we said the Redemptive Rosary.

From there we hiked a bit further down to the river to toss the Blessed Cross that Seraphim made on the 12th day of Christmas into it.

For details of the NHA Traditions at Epiphany refer to this previous blog post:  Click Here: Why do we bless doors at Epiphany? 

It was a cold, muddy, hike.  The wind was whipping around

and with no leaves on the trees to shield us - it seemed even colder.  Bundled up we made our way to the waters edge.

Once we reached the River Seraphim led the rosary - the Mystery of the Baptism of the Luminous Mysteries.

Next we renewed our Baptism vows

and I was asked to toss the Blessed 2013 Cross into the river, thus making all waters Baptismal.  

Once the Cross landed in the water

we stood there,


as we watched the Cross

flow with the current

and float

down stream

within a few minutes it will be passing through Taylorsville Lake and on to other tributaries.