His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Invocation and Opening Remarks At The Maliotis Cultural Center
“The Greek Revolution through American Eyes, 1821-1829”
March 30, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Let us pray to the Lord. Kyrie Eleison.
Αὐτὸς πανάγιε Δέσποτα, ἐπὶ τῇ ἀπελευθερώσει καὶ τῇ παλιγγενεσίᾳ τοῦ ἡμετέρου Ἔθνους, τὰς εὐχαριστηρίους ἡμῶν ταύτας δέξαι προσευχὰς καὶ ἐπάκουσον ἡμῶν ἐν πίστει δεομένων σου ἐκτενῶς. Τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ὑπὲρ τῆς Πίστεως καὶ τῆς Πατρίδος ἡμῶν εὐκλεῶς ἀγωνισαμένων καὶ ἡρωικῶς πεσόντων πατέρων καὶ ἀδελφῶν ἡμῶν ἀνάπαυσον· ἡμᾶς δὲ πάντας, ὁ ὑπερασπιστὴς τῶν σωτηρίων ἡμῶν, ἀξίους τῆς ἐλευθερίας ἀνάδειξον καὶ ἐν εἰρήνῃ διαφύλαξον. Σὺ γὰρ εἶ ὁ ἄρχων τῆς εἰρήνης καὶ σωτὴρ τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν καὶ σοὶ τὴν δόξαν ἀναπέμπομεν, τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
O all-holy Master, as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, accept our prayers of gratitude for its liberation and rebirth, and hear us as we implore You with faith. We pray for the souls of our fathers and brethren who for faith and country fought nobly and died heroically and grant them rest. O Champion of our deliverance, grant that we may be worthy of freedom, and preserve us in peace. For You are the Lord of peace and the Savior of our souls, and to You we send up glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
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I want to congratulate and express my abiding gratitude to the Maliotis Cultural Center, our Hellenic College and Holy Cross, and The Dean C. and Zoë S. Pappas Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies of Stockton University, for offering us this remarkable and most significant exhibition entitled: “The Greek Revolution through American Eyes, 1821-1829.”
I think that our beloved and late Professor Philip Seraphim, who led this Maliotis Cultural Center, would have been utterly delighted by this patriotic celebration today. For this Exhibit truly serves as the epitome of this place’s purpose – a manifestation of the cultural values that we hold dear, and of which the whole world has been the beneficiary.
I grieve with all of you for Phillip’s recent loss to us, and especially with his beloved Leta, who is here with us today. Thank you, Leta, for honoring all of us today by your presence. May Philip’s memory, like the Immortal Heroes of 1821, be eternal.
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Please allow me to make special mention as well of our President of Hellenic College and Holy Cross, Mr. George Cantonis. His exceptional and, indeed, sacrificial leadership of our Σχολή has produced results for the Institution that were only dreamed of just a few years ago. Thank you, George, for your undying and undivided devotion to this place of learning.
I also want to thank my good friend Drake Behrakis, for his kind introduction of my humble person, and for his service as our Maser of Ceremonies today. His family – especially his dear parents, George and Margo – have been both fundamental and instrumental to the health and wellbeing of Hellenic College and Holy Cross for decades.
I know that our distinguished professors, Dr. Tom Papademetriou of Stockton University, and Dr. Nicholas Ganson of our own Hellenic College, will offer talks today that will be enlightening. But allow me just a few more moments to reflect on this historic occasion.
This year of the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution is a marvelous opportunity for us, not only to refresh our patriotic zeal, but also to revive in us a passion for our own history. The story of 1821, is one of the human aspiration for freedom and self-determination. It has the power to inspire our community for generations to come. It is a narrative that we have a solemn duty to pass on.
This Exhibit, and its duration for the rest of this Bicentennial Year, is a vital element in connecting the Omogeneia here in the Diaspora to the roots of the sacred vine of our traditions – to those Heroes who gave their all, ὑπὲρ τῆς Πίστεως καὶ τῆς Πατρίδος ἡμῶν, as we prayed at the beginning. Understanding American points of view at that time of the Greek Revolution will undoubtedly open up new horizons of appreciation and gratitude among our own people.
And so, today’s opening is, indeed, a significant leap in the right direction for the Greek Orthodox Church of America.
Ζήτω τὸ Ἑλληνικὸ Ἔθνος!
Ζήτω τὸ Εἰκοσιένα!
[*] Abbreviated from the Synod approved Doxology Service for March 25th.