His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Remarks at the Doxology for the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution

Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral

New York, New York

March 25, 2021

Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

Fellow Patriots,

     

Σήμερον τῆς σωτηρίας ἡμῶν τὸ Κεφάλαιον!

Today is the Chapter-Head of our Salvation! The source, the wellspring, the beginning of our true freedom as human beings.

The Heroes of 1821 could have chosen no better Day to announce their Revolution, the rising up that led to the restoration of the Greek People as a Nation. For the Feast of the Annunciation is the ultimate Day of Liberation for all Humanity.

Those immortal Greeks who rose up on March 25th, knew in their souls what Pericles spoke of five hundred years before the Annunciation – that freedom was happiness, and courage was freedom. [1]

But it is the responsibility of every generation to secure its own liberty of conscience, of practice, and of life. Each, in their turn, must find the courage within, to bring about liberty without.

That is why this Bicentennial of 1821 speaks with such profundity to us, because we hear the echo of those valiant souls who gave their last full measure. We know that it was their sacrifice that purchased redemption for our forebears, and for us as well.

This celebration and Doxology today must be more than a mere commemoration of their sacrifice. It must be a challenge to all of us. How will we honor that oblation of life that purchased our liberty? What can and what will we do in order to ensure that generations – yet to be born – will bask in the bright light of freedom?

Fellow Greeks and Philhellenes:

The laurels of our ancestors are not withered. They are fresh and green and full of life. But only if we make them so.

Just as the young Virgin gave her assent to the will of God, by saying “yes,” we, too, must also say a resounding “yes” to our rightful inheritance as Greeks!

“Yes” to democracy and to the democratic ideals that Greece gave to the world. And yes, we must safeguard them each and every day.

We must stand for the rights of the oppressed, the minority voices, for those who have been historically disenfranchised. For if we do not defend the rights of all, the blood of the Heroes of 1821 will certainly cry from the ground, even as did the blood of the innocent Abel.[2]

 

Therefore, with pride in our hearts and with joy on our faces, let us lovingly offer our thanks to the Immortal Heroes of 1821.

Let us recommit our faithfulness to our Homeland of Greece, and rededicate our lives to the cause of freedom and self-actualization for all human beings.

And in doing so, we shall honor those who came before us in the freedom of courage, and offer to those who will come after us the happiness of freedom.

Ζήτω ἡ Ἑλλάς! Ζήτω τὸ Ἑλληνικὸ Ἔθνος!


[1] Περικλέους Ἐπιτάφιος, Θουκυδίδου Ἱστοριῶν, Β´ XLIII.

[2] Cf. Genesis 4:10