The crossroad of heroes – Corfu in 1716
On the fifth meeting of the Open University of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu for the academic year 2018-2019, the presentation of the new book of the famous Corfiot author Nikos Parginos was made at the Spiritual Centre, on Monday afternoon, April 1, 2019 with the following title: ” The crossroad of heroes- Corfu in 1716″. In the event, a conversation took place about the heroes and the leaders of our times, on the occasion of Corfu’s occupation in 1716, with Saint Spyridon’s miraculous intervention. Protopresbyter father Themistoklis Mourtzanos, General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis and Mr. Konstantinos Thymis, theologian- historian and Secretary of the Holy Metropolis were the main speakers.
During the event, the actress Mrs. Marietta Savvani read excerpts of the book.
In his greeting, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian islands, Mr. Nektarios having congratulated the author for his novel, underlined that Corfu is really a crossword of West and East. The elements presented in the book are not only historical but also mixed with the literary gift that God has given to the author. Unfortunately, even this miracle of our Saint is devalued by a part of people.
For the overwhelming majority of the Corfiots, Saint Spyridon is their father. In him they go and gratefully thank him, while praising the Triune God. The benefits of the saint are present everyday. We may not at first be aware of them, but the sequence of events then clearly shows the intervention of the Saint Spyridon.
In his conclusion, Mr. Nektarios, wished the author, the Lord God, to bless both him and his family, through his embassies Saint Spyridon.
In his turn, the author, Mr. Parginos, pointed out that in times where we devalue our history, our tradition and our identity, we need to indulge in them, especially in order to have the base with which we will live tomorrow. At times where diversity is the same as abolishing all our traditions and our collective identity, we must not get into this way of thinking. Respect for diversity, of course, needs to exist, but at the same time conscious of our identity. A hero is someone who defeats his own self while a leader is the one who sees the future and inspires people to go forward, to take the step that they might not even think they could do.
This is achieved in the novel, through the presence of an important person of John Matthias Schulemburg, a Saxon-born Marshal, who was headed by the allied powers defending Corfu and was essentially the one who inspired people to fight, so that the island succumbed to the Turks, which would change the history of Europe. Of course, Schulemburg would not have done it if Saint Spyridon did not interfere, which is the living tradition on the island of the Phaeacians. Immediately after the dissolution of the siege, which took place after a terrible storm, and mainly through the fear of the Turks, who felt the Holy One fight against them, the result was to stop their aggressive actions. This coincided with the victory in Petrovarantin’s allied forces, under Eugene of Savoy, in another Turkish assault.
Schulemburg, a Protestant, honored and worshiped the Triune God, demonstrating that one who is aware of his limits and possibilities knows how to respect the faith of a people. In his speech, father Themistocles stressed that it is worthwhile to study such works that link literature to history in times when history is being discarded and literature is not in the priorities of our society, as well as the study of books today. It is a leader and a hero who defeats the fear of death, for that is the key, the self-denial and the overcoming of death. It is not only the story-writers, but also the faces, the collectivism that is compassionate to them, and as clearly shown by the novel played a very important role in defeating the enemy. What we need in our times is to be able to get up, to seek leadership and to leave our retreat.
The presence of Nikos Parginos and his writing talent highlights issues that historically have to do with Corfu, shows that the writer contributes to the island’s culture as well as to preserving and preserving the cultural heritage, which is very promising in the times
Afterwards, Mr. Thymis in his speech pointed out, through a multitude of primary historical sources, the conditions under which the siege of Corfu was made by the Turks in 1716, as well as the fact that after the victory s allied forces, involving many locals, showing that the place has powers. Even this siege gave birth to the folk legend, from where people such as Nicolo Pierre and Nazli, inspired by writers, showed that a people do not live in history alone, but their tradition is connected with legends and faces, which reflect the greatness of the events. One can not talk about history, ignoring popular sentiment and tradition.
The Mayor of Corfu, Mr. Kostas Nikolouzos, addressed the event and stressed the excellent cooperation that the Municipality had with both the Holy Metropolis and other institutions of the island in a series of events in 2016 on the completion of 300 years since the siege of Corfu and the miraculous intervention of Saint Spyridon. Even the Mayor pointed out that Nikos Parginos, an excellent collaborator of the Municipality of Corfu, with his newly published novel coming to fill a gap in terms of literary and historical side of summer events 1716.
In the end, we should notice that on behalf of the Union of Christian Scientists. the Archim. Seraphim Linosporis, Preacher of the HM Corfu and vice president addressed the audience.