A Saint Speaks to Europe from Dachau
Bishop Nicholas (Velimirovich) of Zhicha
From 15 September 1944 to 8 May 1945, the great Serbian Orthodox theologian and contemporary Church Father, Bishop Nicholas (Velimirovich) of Zhicha, was imprisoned by the Nazis in the notorious concentration camp of Dachau. There he kept a diary of seventy-six chapters, ‘Through a Prison Window’, in which he addressed himself to the Serbian people.
In it St Nicholas the Serb, as many now call him, never mentioned his own sufferings, but rather expressed his profound grief at the spiritual and moral decadence of contemporary mankind, which he called, ‘Life without aim and death without hope’. According to the Saint, it was this aimlessness and hopelessness which explained the European catastrophe of the twentieth century and its World Wars.
Here follows the translation of one of those chapters. May God grant us the time to translate other chapters of the unique and inspired work of this contemporary Saint, who is still calling Europe to repentance.
“He thinks in prayer, he writes philosophy in prayer. You could feel that, through him, the light-bearing souls of the great Orthodox ascetics speak, and especially the wonderous soul of Simeon the New Theologian. He prayerfully feels God, prayerfully senses the whole creation. In his prayer, he relates to everything. This can be done in Orthodoxy alone. The whole soul is centered in prayer and walks through this unbearably difficult thing, called “the world,” led by prayer; because prayer is the only leader of mind, heart and will, gifted with the gift of sight”.
Archimandrite Justin Popovich about Saint Nicholas Velimirovich
Prayers by the Lake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjh8Vm7AZ-c&NR=1
Through the Prison Window
by St. Nicholas Velimirovich
47: Blessed is the Lord Who Awaits Correction
There was a man who had two daughters. The younger separated from her father and went off to distant lands, where she wasted all her substance in riotous living.
Christ the Saviour had two daughters – Asia and Europe. Asia was the elder, Europe the younger. Christ greatly loved the younger daughter and the younger daughter loved Him and lived in His presence, not separating from Him for a thousand years. But after a thousand years Europe began to hate Christ, Her Parent, and began to move away from Him, until she had altogether separated from Him, going away into a foreign land, a land that was not God’s, a pagan land, and returned to the rubbish tip, where Christ had once found her, found her, washed her and led her into the King’s palaces.
But without Christ Europe grew poor, falling into such poverty and squalor that no-one wanted to offer a helping hand, for fear that she would steal even that hand, for he who is without God is without honour, and he who is without God is without truth and mercy. As the prophet said: The Lord loves truth and mercy (Ps. 83, 12). And for those who lose the Lord it is impossible to keep mercy and truth. Thus, having separated from the Lord, Europe lost mercy and truth. The impenetrable darkness of paganism captivated her soul. And already she could no longer see anything, she was pitiable, hungry, beggarly, naked and blind. Europe became like this, having moved away from her spiritual Parent, Christ, against His will.
But even in her extreme poverty Europe was not humbled, because of her haughty pride. Scorned by all the continents, she continued to exalt herself over mankind and sing the praises of her wonders. The essence of her motto was this: Christ is not a Wonderworker, but I, Europe, I am a Wonderworker. I invented the compass, the microscope and the telescope, I have counted the stars, I have calculated the length and breadth of the Universe, I have discovered medicines, I have devised surgical instruments, I have made dynamite to destroy mountain-sides, I have created machines that fly, machines that go underwater, machines that float; I am the goddess of the invention of machines, steamships and railways, electrical instruments, radio and television. I, I, I and I! ‘I’ am the main wonderworker of this age. There is no longer a Wonderworking God, he is the comforting blanket of primitive, ancient times. There is only Europe the Wonderworker.
O, my brothers, can you hear the words of the prodigal daughter? Can you hear the boasting of this aristocrat, who has fallen into poverty, is ragged and hungry? She is already nothing, yet boasts as if she were everything. She is nothing, yet basks in vainglory, as if the whole world belonged to her. She exalts herself, so that she may be respected, but she is only despised. She paints and adorns herself, so as to look more beautiful. But they all scorn her and shun her, as the ugliest of monsters.
Christ’s elder daughter, Asia, cannot bear to look at Europe: she sees abomination, she hears disharmony; Europe gives off a revolting stench, she is covered in scabs and wounds. For Asia, Europe is unbearable.
This is what Christ’s Asia answers the anti-Christian Europe, who has fallen away: ‘What do you have of your own? What do you have to boast of? What are you proud of? Even if you have found something, whose soil have you found it on? Why do you boast of the compass, of electricity, of steamships and other inventions? Where did you find all this? Surely it was in the courts of the Lord, Who invited you there? If you do not remember your Master, you are a thief. Yes, indeed, you are a thief. And more than that, you rob, you plunder and you oppress. You have taken for yourself God’s wonders, those which you were the last to discover. Truly I say unto you: all your wonders are God’s wonders, they are not yours and never will be yours, even after a million years. You have only one thing – listen to it and memorize it – you have only one thing which is not from God, but from yourself: this is the misuse of His wonders. Wonders are from God, misuse is from you. For example, the flying-machine is a wonder, but yours is the destruction of humanity with the help of this machine. It is God’s to sail, yours to sink. It is God’s to heal, yours to poison. It is God’s to unite, yours to divide. Truth is God’s, yours is the lie. Mercy is God’s, yours is self-love. What do you have in common with Christ, Europe, with Christ, with the God of truth and mercy? Nothing. And you, Serbia? Why are you troubled and why do you blush? Because you have followed after Europe. You have made friends with the apostate. You have gone after the harlot. If you correct your ways, you will be blessed. And blessed is God Who awaits your correction’. Amen.
Translator’s Note: Although the Saint addresses himself here to his own Serbian land, we could substitute for it Old England, or any other once Orthodox land that has erred from its ancient ways and followed after the harlot spirit of the Europe of the last thousand years.
42: The Lord has Risen up in Judgement
What could the Old Testament be called in contemporary language? It could be called the court records of the judgement of God and His people, at that time, the chosen people. The prophets literally say that God enters into judgement with His people (Isaiah 3, 13-14; Micah 6,2; Malachi 3,5). In our own times the so-called secret records or ‘Protocols’ of the Elders of Zion have been published. These are supposed to be a Jewish scheme to subjugate the world. In these ‘Protocols’ there is no God, no prophetic word, no testament, no heavenly holiness in its words, no heavenly imprint. This is because they are vain journalism. These contemporary Jewish court records contain about one hundred pages. But the records of the judgement of God with the Jewish people over thousands of years constitute about a thousand pages. Reading these ancient court records – the Old Testament – each of us has two sincere feelings. The first is amazement at Divine faithfulness and longsuffering, the second – shame at the perfidiousness of the chosen people in their relation to God their Benefactor, at their resistance to Him, that can only be explained as satanic malice, disobedience to Him, a disobedience which even a mule or some other beast does not show to its master and the one who feeds it.
But we, who live in the twentieth century, no longer belong to the Old Testament but to the New Testament. What is the difference? The difference is great. In the Old Testament God spoke to people through the mouths of prophets and angels, but in the New Testament, where He appeared as a man in the flesh, He speaks personally and directly. What can be said of those who flee the light of the Gospel for the darkness of Egypt and seek to enter into judgement with God with the same Jewish obstinacy of Old Testament times? We can only say that Christians who enter into judgement with God, who renounce Christ, show malice and disobedience to God Who is made manifest, and that they are foolish and sinful, worse than the Old Testament Jews, who did not wish to hear the angels of God, the prophets and the righteous, for they were insolent to the servants of the Master, but the former are insolent to the Master Himself.
If the history of the last three centuries – the 18th, 19th and 20th – were to be given its true name, then there could not be found a more fitting name than ‘The Records of the Judgement between Europe and Christ’, for all the significant events in Europe of the last three centuries are connected to our Lord Jesus Christ.
In reality, at the judgement between Europe and Christ the following is happening.
Christ reminds Europe that it is baptized in His Name and must be faithful to Him and His Gospel. The defendant Europe replies:
– All denominations are equal. The French Encyclopedists told us this and it is wrong to force anyone to believe in any one of them. Europe shows tolerance to all denominations as national customs, as it wishes to keep its imperialistic interests, but Europe itself is not attached to any of them. But when it has achieved its political goals, then it will swiftly settle accounts with these vain folk beliefs.
Then Christ asks with sorrow:
– How can you people live solely for imperialistic, that is, materialistic interests, for the animal desire solely for bodily food? I wanted to make you gods and sons of God and you wish to make yourselves equal to beasts of burden.
But Europe replies to this:
– You are obsolete. Instead of your Gospel, we have discovered zoology and biology. Now we know that we are descendants of orang-outangs and gorillas – monkeys, we are not yours and not of your Heavenly Father. Now we are perfecting ourselves in order to become gods, for we do not recognize any gods other than ourselves.
– You are more obstinate than the ancient Jews. I raised you up from the darkness of barbarianism to heavenly light, but once more you rush headlong towards the darkness, just as pigs rush headlong towards the mud. I shed my blood for you, I gave you My blood, when all the angels had turned away from you, for they could not bear your hellish stench. When you turned into darkness and stench, I alone rose up for you in order to enlighten and cleanse you. Return to me, otherwise you will once more find yourself in an unbearable stench and darkness.
But Europe smiles mockingly:
– Leave us. We do not know you. Greek philosophy and Roman culture are closer to us. We want freedom. We have universities. Science is our guiding star. Our motto is freedom, equality, brotherhood. Our reason is the god of gods. You are Asian, we renounce you. You are a mere fairy-tale told by our grandfathers and grandmothers.
Christ says with tears in His eyes:
– So, I will go away, but you will see and understand that you fell away from the path of God and took the path of the devil. Blessing and joy are taken from you. Your life and your death are in My hands, for I gave Myself up to crucifixion for you. But it is not I Who will punish you, your sins and your falling away from Me, your Saviour, will punish you. I showed the love of the Father for all people and wanted to save you all through love.
But Europe replies to this:
– What love? Sobriety and courageous hatred for all, who do not agree with us, this is our programme. Your love is a mere fable. We prefer nationalism and internationalism, the worship of science and culture, aesthetics, evolution and progress to your love. Our salvation is in these, but as for you, go away!
Oh my brothers, nowadays progress is complete. Christ has left Europe, as once before Christ left Gadara at the insistence of the Gadarenes. But as soon as He left, there started wars, misfortunes, horrors, destruction, annihilation. Pre-Christian barbarianism has returned to Europe, that of the Avars, the Huns, the Lombards, the Vandals, only nightmarishly multiplied a hundredfold. Christ has taken up His Cross and His blessing and left. Darkness and stench have spilled forth. So decide who you want to be with: with the darkness and stench of Europe, or with Christ. Amen.
Retrieved From: http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk
TROPARION TO ST. NIKOLAI Velimirovich
Thy righteous acts have revealed thee to thy flock
As a model of frith, a reflection of humility
And a teacher of abstinence, O Father Bishop Nikolai;
Therefore, through humility thou hast obtained exaltation and through poverty, riches;
Pray to Christ God to save our souls.
ANOTHER TROPARION TO ST. NIKOLAI 
Loving thy homeland thou didst sojourn as a patriot to secure aid for God’s suffering children,
And as a new Chrysostom thou didst preach to those in darkness
The rediscovery of the Foundational Rock, Christ the Lord,
In the Eternal Homeland of God’s Kingdom.
Thy pastoral love for all, O Confessor Nikolai, was purified in captivity by the godless,
Demonstrating thy commitment to the truth and thy people;
Therefore, O venerable Bishop, thou hast attained the crown of eternal life.