Τρίτη, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2017

A Greek saint, who went from village to village, compared the ancient wisdom of the Orthodox Christians with the culture of the West († 1861, January 18)...



Chief Seattle’s response to President Franklin Pierce in 1854, that he could not sell his people’s land because it does not belong to them but rather the people belong to it, has become a memorable piece of American history. In exactly the same time period, a Greek saint went from village to village saying exactly the same things to my people, the Greeks, who had just acquired their “own” state, but were being ruled by the powerful countries of Western Europe, who had dazzled them with their wealth and culture. This saint was called Christoforos Papoulakos (which means “dear old man”). The people in power captured him and he died in prison, but his words influenced our future. 

Icon: Elder Christoforos Papoulakos (here)

In 1977 the “Message of the Iroquois Confederation of the Six Nations to the Western World” was presented at the International Conference of Indian Nations in Geneva, under the auspices of the Non Governmental Organizations of the UN. In this message, the ancient wisdom of the Native Americans was compared against the utilitarian and invasive culture of the white men, the culture that now essentially rules the whole world and which in reality is only the culture of the Western white men, not ours. Similarly, the reproaches against Christianity included in this message, that “Rome is the real place that it is modeled after”; that it “de-spiritualized the world”, and that it “came to prominence with weapons”, refer to the false versions of Christianity that were created in the West, not to ancient Christianity or to Orthodoxy. A few years earlier, during the second world war, an Orthodox saint, imprisoned at the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, the bishop Nikolaos Velimirovich, sent a moving message to all the people of Europe, wherein he too compared the ancient wisdom of the Orthodox Christians with the culture of the West, the same culture critiqued by our Iroquois brothers as well as every wise and thinking Native American. 

Click

Life of Saint Christoforos Papoulakos (site about him)

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