EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): This year, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, but in many ways, we missed some of the essential meanings of this great event.  Top among these essential meanings appears in the second verse of the “Hymn To Liberty” – now part of the National Anthem of Greece:

Απ’ τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη των Ελλήνων τα ιερά,

Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη, χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά!

Rising out of the sacred bones of the Hellenes,

Forever brave again, hail, Liberty, hail!!

The poem was written by Dionysios Solomos in 1823.  If anyone asks the question which “sacred bones” the poet refers to, the most likely answer lies in the catastrophic events on the island of Chios that took place in and around the Easter of 1822, known as the “Massacre of Chios.”  In a few words, out of the roughly 120,000 Greeks living in Chios, about 40,000 were killed or starved to death, another 40,000 fled the island for other Aegean islands or cities in Greece and Asia Minor, and the rest 40,000 were sold as slaves in the “slave markets” of Egypt… Only about 2,000 remained in the island haunted by the unbelievable disaster. The impact this Massacre had on European public opinion was momentous beyond description, and it is owed mostly to the famous painting by Eugene Delacroix that caused a sensation throughout Europe and the rest of the world, giving rise to a huge wave of Philhellenism: many Europeans and Americans voluntarily decided to go and fight in Greece, and many gave their lives, including one of the best poets in British history, Lord Byron, who died in 1824 in Messolonghi…

I heard recently that the impact of the Chian slaves sold in Egypt was felt across the Atlantic and influenced the anti-slavery movement, including some developments in the then-young US Congress  (I plan to publish an essay that came recently to my attention).

The Monastery of Agios Minas was the location of one of the biggest slaughters of the Chians by the Turks on Easter of 1822, and today, the bones of many of the dead are displayed in unique cases, as you can see in our photos, while remains of the blood stains can be seen on the floor… This is a sacred, hollowed place…

In the brief report by Captain Stelios Tatsis (below in Greek and English), we learn that President Carter himself visited Chios in the late 1970s, a guest of the famous shipowner Livanos and shed tears in front of the tragic remains of the massacre in Agios Minas…

Yet, when Patriarch Bartholomew visited Chios, he refused to spend one minute there.  The same and worse for AB Elpidophoros, who spent countless hours in various events, he received an honorary doctorate, he blessed… a bus, and he even had time to go to a concert with Eleftheria Arvanitaki… But he did not have time to go and do a memorial at Agios Minas, lest he irritates Sultan Erdogan and the Pashas of Ankara and Constantinople… What a shame!! What a disgrace for our community and church to have as leaders the slavish descendants of the “Servants” of the Sublime Porte, the Phanariots, and the (castrated or not) Janissaries… 

Their disgraceful end begins with their disrespect for these hollowed bones…

And let me close with one word for the many “Presidents” of Chian Associations and other Greek-Americans who “assisted” in AB Elpidoktonos’s visit to the island: Your job is not to compromise our history and “make deals” with those who have sold their souls to the Turks (and the Devil).  If you could not make sure that the Archbishop will show respect for your island, Chios, it would be better not to invite him… Is this how he “honored” his father’s origins from Chios (but many Chians have not seen any evidence of these family “roots”) by being afraid to go to Agios Minas and bow before these martyrs – to whom Chios and Greece owe their freedom? But he bowed before Sultan Erdogan last September in New York, right? For what? For the chance to be a future Patriarch and promote Turkey’s interests through the Patriarchate?

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Η μεγάλη παράλειψη του Αρχ.Ελπιδοφόρου στην επίσκεψή του στη Χίο

Του Στέλιου Τάτση

Μου προκαλεί αλγεινή εντύπωση και ένα μεγάλο ερωτηματικό, γιατί ο οποισδήποτε Ιεράρχης με Τουρκική υπηκοότητα είτε είναι Πατριάρχης η Αρχιεπίσκοπος η άλλος μεγαλόσχημος κληρικός όταν επισκέπτονται το μαρτυρικό νησί της Χίου αποφεύγουν να επισκεφθούν την ιστορική Μονή του Αγίου Μηνά και η πλάκα είναι πως κατά την διαδρομή τους περνούν σχεδόν μπροστά από το Μοναστήρι. Πως μπορούν να το αποφεύγουν την στιγμή που γνωρίζουν ότι σ’αυτήν την Μονή έγινε ένα από τα μεγαλύτερα εγκλήματα της ανθρωπότητας. Τρεισήμισυ χιλιάδες ως επί το πλείστον γυναικόπαιδα σφαγιάσθηκαν το πρωί του Πάσχα στις 2 Απριλίου του 1822 την ώρα που παρακολουθούσαν την λειτουργία της Αναστάσεως.

Η μονή του Αγίου Μηνά ευρίσκεται εις έναν όμορφο λόφου της περιοχής Νεροχωρίου
και η θέα είναι μαγική και πανοραμική διότι μπροστά σου απλώνεται η γαλάζια Θεά του
Αιγαίου η θάλασσα η οποία ενώνει η μάλλον χωρίζει τα νησιά του Αιγαίου από τις
κλεμένες Πατρίδες της Μικράς Ασίας, βλέπεις την Σμύρνη, το Kορδελειό, τ’Aλάτσατα,
την Kάτω Παναγιά, τον Τσεσμέ και ραγίζει η καρδιά σου. Στην Μονή του Αγίου Μηνά κατά τον 18 αιώνα λειτούργησε σπουδαία σχολή στην οποίαν φοίτησε μεταξύ άλλων και ο Πατριάρχης Άγιος Γρηγόριος ο Ε’.
Στα δάπεδα της μονής υπάρχουν ματωμένα σημάδια  της αποτρόπαιης σφαγής.
Στο παρεκκλήσι των Αγίων τεσσαράκοντα μαρτύρων που υπάρχει στο προαύλιο της
Μονής φυλάσσονται πολλά από τα οστά των σφαγιασθέντων. Αξίζει να σημειώσω πως ο Πρόεδρος Τζίμι Κάρτερ  είχε πει στον Γιώργο τον Λιβανό που εκείνα τα χρόνια ήταν Πρόεδρος της Χιακής Ομοσπονδίας πως στην Χίο κατοικούν περισσότεροι Τούρκοι από τους Έλληνες πεπεισμένος από την Τουρκική προπαγάνδα και ο αείμνηστος Γιώργος Λιβανός του είπε, κύριε Πρόεδρε σας προσκαλώ να πάμε μαζί στη Χίο και εάν βρείτε έστω και έναν Τούρκο μόνιμο κάτοικο εγώ θα πείσω την Ελληνική κυβέρνηση να παραχωρήσει την Χίο στην Τουρκία. Ο Πρόεδρος Κάρτερ δέχθηκε την πρόσκληση και επισκέφθηκε εκείνο το καλοκαίρι τη Χίο και το πλέον αξίοσημείωτο είναι ότι επισκέφθηκε μεταξύ των άλλων και την
Μονή του Αγίου Μηνά, είδε τα οστά και εδάκρυσε. Έφυγε κατά ενθουσιασμένος από
τις φυσικές ομορφιές της Χίου και παραμιλούσε για την νοστιμιά των λουκουμάδων
που έφαγε στο φημισμένο λουκουματζίδικο του Μανάρα.
Μάλιστα φίλες και φίλοι ο Πρόεδρος της Αμερικής ανέβηκε στον Άγιο Μηνά, αντίθετα
όλοι οι μεγαλόσχημοι  κληρικοί που επισκέπτονται την Χίο, ενώ περνούν μπροστά
από την Μονήν την αποφεύγουν και καταλήγω , πως λόγω της Τουρκικής υπηκοότητας
των πρέπει να έχουν απαγορευτικό από την Τουρκική Κυβέρνηση. Θυμάμαι το καλοκαίρι του 2015 ( αν δεν με απατά η μνήμη μου) που είχε έλθει ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης στη Χίο για να παρευρεθεί στην προτομή του αείμνηστου Βεσσιανού Πατριάρχη Βαλλιάνου και απέφυγε να επισκεφθεί την Μονήν του Αγίου Μηνά και η ίδια ιστορία δυστυχώς επανελήφθη και με τον Άγιο Αμερικής Ελπιδοφόρο που προτίμησε να πάει στην συναυλία της φίλης του τραγουδίστριας Αρβανιτάκη  και να μην πάει στην Μονή του Αγίου Μηνά και να κάνει ένα τρισάγιο υπέρ των ψυχών των σφαγιασθέντων Χίων αδελφών μας.
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The great omission of Arch. Elpidophoros in his visit to Chios

By Stelios Tatsis

It gives me a sad feeling, and I have a big question mark, why does any Hierarch with Turkish citizenship, be it a Patriarch, Archbishop, or other grand clerics, when visiting the island of Chios, avoid visiting the historic Monastery of Agios Minas (and the funny thing is that on their way they pass almost in front of the Monastery). How can they avoid it when they know that one of the greatest crimes against humanity was committed in this Monastery? Three and a half thousand, mostly women and children, were massacred on Easter morning on April 2, 1822, while they watched the Resurrection service.

The monastery of Agios Minas is located on a beautiful hill in the Nerochori region
and the view is magical and panoramic because in front of you spreads like a blue Goddess
the Aegean, the sea which unites or rather separates the islands from the
stolen homelands of Asia Minor. You can see Smyrna, Kordelio, Alatsata, Kato Panagia, Cesme, and your heart breaks. In the Monastery of Agios Minas, during the 18th century, a great school functioned in which, among others, Patriarch Agios Grigorios V’ studied.

On the monastery floors, there are bloody marks of hideous slaughter. In the chapel of the Holy Forty Martyrs in its courtyard, many of the bones of the slaughtered are kept in the monastery.

It is worth noting that President Jimmy Carter had told George Livanos, who in those years was President of the Chios Federation, that more Turks live in Chios than Greeks, convinced by Turkish propaganda. And the late George Livanos said to him, Mr. President, I invite you to come with me to Chios, and if you find even one Turkish permanent resident, I will convince the Greek government to cede Chios to Turkey. President Carter accepted the invitation and visited Chios that summer, and most notably, he visited, among others, the
Monastery of Agios Minas, he saw the bones and wept. He left excited by the natural beauties of Chios and talked about the deliciousness of loukoumades, who ate at Manara’s famous donut shop.

My friends, the President of America, went up to Agios Minas, doing the opposite of all the grand clerics who visit Chios. While passing by the Monastery, they avoid it, and I conclude that because of their Turkish citizenship, they must have a ban by the Turkish Government. I remember the summer of 2015 (if my memory serves me correctly) when the Ecumenical Patriarch came to Chios to attend the ceremony for the late Bessian Patriarch Vallianos; he avoided visiting the Monastery of Agios Minas and the same story, unfortunately, repeated itself and with Elpidophoros who preferred to go to the concert of his singer friend Arvanitaki and not to go to the Monastery of Agios Minas and do a memorial service for the souls of our slaughtered Chios brothers.

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. Yes good question:
    How could an Orthodox Archbishop visiting Chios not stop by the historic
    Monastery of Agios Minas?
    Was Elps worried he’d be hit by tomatoes from the monks?

  2. You guys hit the nails in the head. Our Archbishop and his entourage were definitely informed that there has been a significant programming created throughout the entire island including Agios Minas in memorial of the massacre. I don’t quite understand why they would bypass it, and miss an opportunity to commemorate this history. During the parade in NYC in June they did honor a variety of Chian Societies as grand Marshall’s. At least they went to Panagia Soumela in Trabzon in August….

    • Obviously their masters in Turkey do not want any reference to their barbarian past for the same reason they do not recognize their genocides against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and others.

  3. Έτσι αισθάνονται οι άνθρωποι. Μην τους πιέζετε να κάμουν κάτι που δε θέλουν.
    Περιμένουν την εφαρμογή του top secret ΝΑΤΟΐκού Σχεδίου ΦΑΙΔΩΡΑ της 20-05-1988 με τη βοήθεια και του ΕΛΙΑΜΕΠ (=ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑΜΕΠ), ιδρυθέντος στην Αθήνα το 1988 γιά να επισκεφθούν ως επίσημοι Τούρκοι υπήκοοι και αντίχριστοι Μασόνοι τη Μονή του Αγίου Μηνά στη Χίο, γιά να κάψουν μάλιστα και εκείνα τα καταραμένα κόκκαλα των 3.500 Ελλήνων, από τα οποία ξεπήδησε η Ελληνική Λευτεριά.
    Βλέποντάς τα τους έρχεται κόμπος στην καρδιά, τόσα πολλά κόκκαλα μαρτύρων της Λευτεριάς !
    Ε΄ δεν το ανέχονται να τα βλέπουν. Θα τα στείλουν και αυτά στη Μασσαλία γιά να γίνουν χτένες και ότι άλλο χρήσιμο γιά τους Ευρωπαίους “συμμάχους” μας. Γάλλους, Άγγλους, Πορτογάλλους υλικό, αντί να φαίνονται εκεί στις βιτρίνες της Χίου και να δυσφημούν τους Τούρκους, κάτι κουρελήδες πολεμιστές του 1821.
    Όταν έχεις τέτοιους φίλους τι να τους κάνεις τους εχθρούς.

  4. Thank you for posting this article.
    You are right in saying that the Archbishop and others should have visited Agia Mina, outside Kallimasia village in Xios.
    Very few Greeks and Greek Americans visit there, you see the neglect on the buildings and the gardens in comparison to other monasteries.
    Yes, you are right, this is a sacred ground and especially for those of us that fought for The Saint N Shrine Ground Zero to be build. But not everyone feels the same way, or the passing of time makes us forget.
    So I urge the Mayor of Xios to correct this neglect on this sacred ground holding the skulls of those that sacrificed for our freedom. Much has changed for the better, but so much more needs to done that that our monument do not suffer from the abandonment of time.
    More needs to be done to highlight the stories these skulls hold for us. Over the summer, I visited the Library Korais in Xora. This too is a neglected gem with very few visitors. The young librarian was kind enough to to take the time, unlike her colleagues, to explain the letters and document collection about the Massacre events. It is not enough to store these precious pieces, but the library must invite and welcome visitors in order to enlighten others and especially children. One way to do is to host special events and evening welcome meetings.
    Hopefully, your article and our comments will generate interest and action.
    With regards,
    Frederica

  5. Am still haunted by the displays of kafkala both at Ayio Mina and Nea Moni. And the atmosphere of pain and sorrow I sensed even as the pullman approached and we disembarked. Those ppl held our Faith as their guide and protection.

    However, as helpi hasn’t the same sentiments about …well anything, except him portofoli and possibly his “friends”…

    A tour of this amazing library is a must!

  6. I’ve only been to Chios enough times to count on only one hand– 2ng gen. and a true Patriot of the U.S—
    I never consider myself a member of the diaspora, nor will Greece ever be considered my homeland.
    That said, as an adult going to Greece for the very first time, the haunting images of babies’ blooded footprints embedded on the cold white marble floors of the altar at St. Minas linger, linger in my mind still today… the very first genocide and no wreath is laid? What planet are we in?

  7. It is heart breaking to see the bones of all these Chians massacred by the Turks on Easter 1822.
    For preventing a recurrence of this massacre , Greece must increase military service of men and women to 24 months ,as it is in Israel, close the borders to illegal immigrants and have them return to their country of origin and open the factory for armaments to produce drones to protect Greece from aggressive expansionist Erdogan of Turkey!

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