August 24, 2009

Saint Kosmas Aitolos on the Need for Educated Orthodox Christians

Saint Kosmas Aitolos (Feast Day - August 24)

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

Blessed Christians, a large number of churches neither preserve nor strengthen our faith as much as they should if those who believe in God aren't enlightened by both the Old and New Testaments. Our faith wasn't established by ignorant saints, but by wise and educated saints who interpreted the holy Scriptures accurately and who enlightened us sufficiently by inspired teachings.

Today, however, because of the dreadful state in which we find ourselves due to our sins, such wise and virtuous men, who can preserve unaffected our Orthodox brethren, are absent or at least extremely rare. For how can our nation be preserved without harm in its religion and freedom when the sacred clergy is disastrously ignorant of the meaning of the holy Scriptures, which are the light and foundation of the faith? When a shepherd doesn't know which grass is nourishing for his flock, he can't cure it's possible passions; he can't guard them from the wild beasts and thieves. How can that flock be preserved for very long? So, my children of Parga, to safeguard your faith and the freedom of your homeland, take care to establish without fail a Greek School in which your children will learn all that you are ignorant of.

The Church of St. Kosmas Aitolos in Northern Epirus, where the New Martyr and Apostle of Greece was martyred.

My beloved children in Christ, bravely and fearlessly preserve our holy faith and the language of our Fathers, because both of these characterize our most beloved homeland, and without them our nation is destroyed. Don't be discouraged, my brethren; divine providence will one day send heavenly salvation to gladden your hearts and eliminate this dreadful state in which we find ourselves.

The signature of St. Kosmas a short time prior to his martyrdom.