Saint Syncletica (January 5)

St Syncletica. Fresco by Elder Sophrony Sakharov at the refectory of St John the Baptist Monastery in Essex.

Our holy mother Syncletica was born at Alexandria in the course of the fourth century to rich and devout parents, who came originally from Macedonia. From her youth, she had been seen as an excellent match on account of her great beauty, intelligence and virtues, and she had many suitors; but she remained deaf and blind to every worldly attraction, for she aspired only to spiritual marriage to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom. Bringing her flesh into subjection by fasting and austerities of every kind, she constantly gathered her spirit in the depths of her heart and cried out night and day: My Beloved is mine, and I am His (Song of Songs 2:16).

On the death of her parents, she distributed her great fortune to the poor and then, accompanied by her blind sister, she fled far from the city. Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Happiness makes for a healthy heart

U.S. researchers said their observational study was the first to show an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease, but stressed that more work was needed before any treatment recommendations could be made.

«We desperately need rigorous clinical trials in this area. If the trials support our findings, then these results will be incredibly important in describing specifically what clinicians and/or patients could do to improve health,» Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center wrote in the study in the European Heart Journal.

Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in Europe, the United States and most industrialized countries. Together with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases accounted for 32 percent of all deaths around the world in 2005, according to the World Health Organization.

Over 10 years, Davidson and her team followed 1,739 men and women who were taking part in a large health survey in Canada. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »