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February 25, 2022

A Letter to the Rulers of Nations Who Love War (Elder Philotheos Zervakos)

Listen oh Kings and Rulers of the nations and take into consideration oh ye lovers of war!

The Almighty God and Creator of all things has made you Kings, Lords and Rulers of nations and peoples, and the people have entrusted you with their rule, to rule your subjects with justice and truth and, as affectionate fathers and excellent rulers to provide and take care for the prosperity, happiness and salvation of your peoples.

Why do you forget your destiny? Listen and take into consideration! You killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, handing them over to slaughter, fire and the depths of the sea! Hundreds of thousands of people have become very unfortunate, miserable, poor, hungry, naked and homeless!

Every time billions upon billions of drachmas are wasted on military equipment and thrown into the fire and the sea, to cure your passion for selfishness and ambition, and you do not think that with this money you waste uselessly, unjustly and irrationally, how many millions of poor people, orphans, hungry you will save! So where is your justice? Where is your love, affection, where is your concern?

What will you enjoy, what will you gain, if you see the whole of Europe rolling in blood and its cities turning into piles of rubble? You are responsible for all the above! Keep in mind you are mortal people! You will die, although ye be Lords and Rulers.

You seek, as one who is unjust and advantageous, to increase the borders of your nations and, if possible, to conquer the whole universe, to leave a supposed name, and tomorrow you will die and take nothing with you. You will only get three cubits of earth when you are thrown into the grave as mortal, to become worm food and stench! Keep in mind that you will give an account for your actions to the  Judge and God who is not a respecter of persons, so come to your senses, repent and stop the evil.

The Ruler and Lord of all from Whom you have the scepter and the office, the right to live and breathe and every good thing, commanded you and all, saying: "Love one another". Not only do you disobey the commandment of love, but you also order your subjects to hate their brothers and kill them. Do you not know that we are all brothers, creatures of one and the same Father? There is no pagan, nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, free, slave, English, French, Russian, German, Italian, European, American, Asian, African, Australian, but we are all one, all brothers, all alike.

Think of the evil you do, sympathize, feel sorry for your fellow brothers, feel sorry for your soldiers, what harm did they do to you that you sent them as sheep to the slaughter? Pity their wives, whom you have made widows, and made their children orphans and unfortunate! Pity the fathers and mothers you leave without children! Pity the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women and premature babies! Pity even more those of every age, the people whom for your stubbornness, greed, envy, your euphoric pride and ambition, you have made miserable, poor, without food, without shelter, without clothing! Pity the cities you burn, the ships you sink, the planes you crash! Have pity on the billions of drachmas you throw into the sea and the fire, and give them to the hungry, the poor, to the widows and orphans, to philanthropy and good works.

My voice, which comes from the depths of my heart with pain and sorrow and tears, let it be heard and let it be welcomed. I know that the sins of men are many, and that because of these sins comes the wrath of God, as the Apostle Paul says, "by these things the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience", and if they do not repent and return to God, from Whom they have departed, they will perish, as David says: "Those who turn away from God perish."

You, Lords, be the first to set a good example. Repent and return to God from Whom you have turned away and be sure that the people will imitate you, for "it is in the nature of those who are ruled to imitate their rulers," said one of the sages.

It is up to you, Lords of the Nations, to bring peace and tranquility, joy and happiness to the nations, and to you again it is to bring about strife, war, sorrow, misery, doom and destruction to the nations, and the eternal curse and anathema on yourselves. Prefer the first, that is, the fulfillment of God's commandment of love, to bring the longed for peace to the world and thus leave a name worthy of blessing to all generations.

With grief of soul,

Abbot of the Sacred Monastery of Longovardos, Paros, Greece.

1 April 1940
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.