Public speech (St. Patakos at the funeral of Georgios Papadopoulos, the leader of Greece’s military junta)
Georgios, my Christian brother, my invaluable friend, heroic co-revolutionary,
In December 1972, electrified by the monumental way the glorified people of Crete had welcomed you in Democratic Herakleion, you said,
When I came here I was a man from Peloponnisos, now I am a Cretan.
As a Cretan, too, I am bidding you farewell in the Cretan way
Always a brave man were you
And you’re dying as brave men do
Going to the arms of God
Waiting for me to come, too.
Strong and proud
You’re dying, like a tree.
The way a Greek should die
You are teaching us today.
The load of this hour is heavy. Being in the difficult position to bid you farewell, I do it in tears, our Leader, praying for your last but most important journey from the mortals to the immortals, from the finite to the infinte, from the unrighteous law of humans to the Righteous Law of God Almighty.
Standing overwhelmed in front of your corse, I should avoid sentiments of anger and hate against those who are responsible for your Passion. The words of Sweet Νazarene, Son of God, Jesus Christ our Savior, ‘Blessed are those who suffer in the name of Justice, the Kingdom of Heavens is theirs’ suits you because you suffered so much doing your patriotic duty. Hence, you are blessed and the Kingdom of Heavens is yours.