To the belligerent rulers of the nations21 January 2022
Translated by: Georgios Velentzas, Theologian
Listen up, you, kings and rulers of the nations who love war, and be wise!
Almighty God and Creator of all things has made you kings, lords and rulers of nations and peoples and your people have trusted you to govern them, to rule your subjects with justice and truth and, as affectionate fathers and excellent rulers, to provide and ensure the prosperity, happiness and salvation of your peoples.
Why do you forget your purpose? Listen up and be wise! You have killed hundreds of thousands of blameless and innocent people by handing them over to slaughter, fire and the seabed. Hundreds of thousands have you made miserable, hideous, seedy, hungry, naked and homeless!
Billions of billions are wasted every day on instruments of war because you throw them into the fire and the sea to satisfy your passion for selfishness and ambition without thinking that with this money which you throw away impeccably, unjustly and irrationally, many millions of poor and hungry people, widows and orphans you would save! So where is your justice? Where is your love, where is your 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 disintegrating into piles of ruins? You are responsible for all of the above! Consider that you are mortal people! You will die even though you are Lords and Governors.
You seek, unjustly and for your own advantage, to expand the borders of your nations and, if it is possible, to conquer the whole universe, to ostensibly get down in history while tomorrow as you die you will take nothing with you. You will only get three spoonfuls of earth along as you are thrown into the grave, dead, only to become the stink and stench of worms! Consider that you will be summoned to account for your actions before the impartial Judge and God, so come to your senses, repent and stop the evil.
The King of the Kings and Creator of everything, whom you have got the scepter and the power from, your life and breath and all that is good, has given you and everyone a commandment by saying “Love one another.” Not only do you disobey the commandment of love, but you also command your subjects to hate their brothers and murder them. Are you unaware that all human beings are brothers, creatures of the same Father? There is neither gentile nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, free man nor slave, Englishman, Frenchman, Russian, German, Italian, European, American, Asian, African, Australian, but we are all one, all brothers, we are all the same.
Think about the evil you are doing, sympathize with and feel sorry for your fellow human beings, brothers and soldiers, for what harm have they done to you when you sent them to be slaughtered as sheep? Pity their wives, whom you have made widows and their children you have made orphans and unfortunate! Feel sorry for the father and mother left without children by you! Pity the elderly, the pregnant and breastfeeding women and premature babies! Feel for the people of all ages whom by your stubbornness, greed, envy, euphoric pride and ambition, you have made miserable, unhappy, without food, without home and even clothes! Be sorry for the cities you have burnt, the ships you have sunk, the planes you have crashed! Pity the billions you have thrown into the sea and fire, and give it to the poor who are hungry, to the widows and orphans, for works of charity and benevolence.
May my voice, which comes from the depths of my heart with pain and sorrow and tears, enter your ears and be welcomed. I know that the sins of men are many, and it is for their sins that the wrath of God comes upon them. As Apostle Paul says, “Due to these comes the wrath of God upon the disobedient sons,” and if they do not repent and turn to God, from whom they were distanced, they will be lost. For as David says, “Those who turn away from God are lost.”
You, oh Lords, are the first to set a good example. Repent and return to God from whom you have departed, and be assured that the people will imitate you for “it is in the nature of the lord to want to resemble the lords,” said one of the wise men.
It is up to you, the rulers of the nations, to bring peace and tranquility, joy and happiness to the nations as it is up to you to incur conflict, war, sorrow, misery, doom and destruction to the nations and the eternal curse and curse on yourself. Prefer the former, that is, the fulfillment of God’s command to love, to bring the desired peace to the world and thus leave behind a name worthy of admiration by all generations.
In mental anguish,
Archimandrite PHILOTHEOS ZERVAKOS
Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Longovarda, Paros, Greece.
April 1, 1940
ELDER PHILOTHEOS ZERVAKOS – TO THE BELLIGERENT RULERS OF THE NATIONS