DOXOLOGY ON THE NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY OF 28 OCTOBER 1940
On Sunday October 15/28, 2018, at 10.30 a.m. there was a Doxology Service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre according to the tradition, on the commemoration of the national anniversary of 28 October 1940, namely the fight and victory of the nation of Greece against the occupational powers of theNazis and Fascism of World War II.
There was also a memorial service for the repose of the souls and the remission of the sins of our ancestors who fought for their faith and country and died heroically on the battlefields of our nation.
The Doxology was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with co-celebrants Hagiotaphite Archbishops and Hieromonks, at the presence of the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and members of the Consulate. The service was also attended by monks and nuns, members of the Greek Community in Jerusalem and visiting pilgrims from Greece.
After the Doxology, bells tolling, there was a reception at the Patriarchate for all who honoured the national anniversary, where His Beatitude addressed all present as follows;
Your Excellency Consul General of Greece
Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos,
Reverend Holy Fathers and Brothers,
Noble Christians and pilgrims,
October 28, is the day we hold the annual commemoration of our fathers and brothers who died in the fight for our national territorial integrity against the invaders of Nazism, which had born the monstrosities of Auschwitz – Birkenau and other concentration camps and camps of extermination of innocent fellow humans.
For this reason, clergy and the people along with the visiting pilgrims, came down to the All-Holy Church of the Resurrection, where we had the service of a thanksgiving Doxology to our God and Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who has given us the glory of good against evil, as John the Evangelist says: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world’ (1 John 5:4).
Moreover, we have prayed for the repose of the souls of those who fought heroically and martyred for our pious nation and our home land.
The painful experience of World War II proved that the
human-centered view of the purpose of human existence and of the world leads inevitably to man’s self-destruction and nihilism. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
And we say this because the sacrificial fight of the Greeks for their homes and sanctuaries was inspired by the God-centered view of the purpose of human existence, namely of the moral and spiritual values of the Greek-Orthodox wisdom.
This festal anniversary of the commemoration of October 28, 1940, incarnates precisely this Greek-Christian and Greek-Orthodox wisdom, and it is our duty to honour it.
The historic events of 1940 have a special place in the world history and especially in the glorious history of Hellenism and of the Greek nation. The historic events of 1940 proved without doubt to the world leaders of this era that “he darkness is past, and the true light now shineth”, namely the light of Christ(1 John 2:8).
Unfortunately we cannot keep silent about the fact that the ideology of Nazism and Fascism threaten humanity once more, with new misleading movements and slogans.
And we say this, because all of us are witnesses of our contemporary experience of war conflicts in the world and clutter. Regional killings among both strangers and brothers intercede one another, religious fanaticism and its messianic syndrome cultivate violence and its produce, acts of terrorism and immoral financial interests are in conflict with the Divine Law of respect and freedom of humans and of the people in general, with the pretext of economic prosperity.
The anniversary of October 28, 1940, calls all of us that we “should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). In other words, we are called to safeguard the sacred consignment of the moral and spiritual values of our tradition and faith, for which our Fathers and brothers sacrificed themselves.
Concluding, let us cry aloud;
Vive October 28 1940!
Vive the pious nation of the Romans!
Vive our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood!
Consequently the Consul General of Greece delivered the following address;
Most Reverend Archbishops,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today it is a day of honor and memory for Greece and for our nation. We celebrate one of the most enduring pages of our newer history and we are called upon to pay tribute to its protagonists and to learn the lessons that will enable us to be worthy of them and to follow where appropriate their example.
The historic NO to the ultimatum of 28 October 1940 to grant our sovereignty, was the unanimous denial of the Greeks to lose their freedom and their national honour. It was their collective refusal to renounce their history, their values and their ideals. It was also a resounding reaction to the dark political forces of fascism and Nazism and to their conquering plans, a reaction that was highly valued and acknowledged by all the major countries, as contributing substantially to the final victory in the Second World War. The Greeks were the ones who made the first victory of the war against the Axis forces.The historic moment, when the Greeks said NO was not an easy time for the Homeland, since a few years earlier it had had an unspeakable plight. Greece seemed quite weakened economically and militarily so its enemies underestimated it. They calculated that the Greeks would not have the courage and the common will to engage in an absolutely unequal conflict. And yet NO has unequivocally demonstrated the deep historical consciousness of the Greeks, the strong common understanding of their brilliant journey through the centuries that they fueled then, and always feeds on their patriotism, vigor, self-denial, and great sense of pride, with which they rush to defend their sacred tradition and faith. NO was precisely the refusal of the Greeks to forget their history and live as an insignificant and submissive nation.
The great historical fact that we celebrate today also demonstrated the moral stature and the strong sense of justice of the Greeks. Thanks to this infallible guide they did not hesitate to oppose those who wanted to impose the arbitrary law of the powerful.
Today, Greeks all over the world honour the fallen and fighters in the battlefields of 1940-41, in Pindos, Macedonia, Crete and elsewhere. We honour those who contributed to the National Resistance and those who continued to fight the conquerors in the battlefields of the Second World War in the Middle East and in Europe on land, air and sea. We do not forget the thousands of innocent victims of the occupation.
The national heroic effort that began with the NO of 28 October 1940 as in any other national effort was critical to the active participation and valuable contribution of Hellenism to the diaspora. The great contribution of the Diaspora in the Middle East has historically been recorded, and in particular that of the Hellenism of Jerusalem, for which Greece is proud and grateful.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the mother of the Churches, has always been a distinct point of reference in the effort of bringing together all the forces of the nation with a view to its moral and spiritual upheaval and resistance to many adversities, a centuries-old orthodoxy and a lighthouse of the universal values of Hellenism.
Today’s anniversary prompts us to reflect on the importance and relevance of the message of 28 October 1940 on modern Hellenism. This glorious page of our history was written by people who, like us today, wanted to live in peace, free, with democracy and social justice. The unbroken unity and consistency they have shown, the patriotism, the sense of historical responsibility and self-sacrifice, and the courage and persistence that steered them in the years of war and occupation remind us that our ability to recover and to prosper, was and remains inexhaustible.
It is a great responsibility for us to understand this message, to pass it on to the new generation, and to be united as it they were then, with determination and vigilance. Long live October 28, 1940 Long live Greece.