The Greek Revolution of 1821 is a “sign which is spoken against” for those Modern Greeks which are not able to discern the element of holiness in this world-historic event, as Fotis Kontoglou used to say, which shows the Revolution to be something unique, distinctive, and unsurmountable. And it is a “sign which is spoken against” because it is very closely connected with the Church which not only took the lead in the Revolution, but essentially initiated it, guided it, and was its head.

For centuries the Church kept alive the flame of Hellenism and its thirst for freedom. Immediately after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 the Ecumenical Patriarchate endeavored to reorganize the enslaved Nation’s education with the conviction that education will preserve the Nation’s continuation, and will allow the Greeks to obtain the self-consciousness demanded of it, in order to claim – with the chance of success – its lost freedom. The struggle for the acquisition of education would most certainly be long and painful. The Patriarchal Great School of the Nation[1] was already founded during the first years after the Fall of Constantinople[2]. The Ecumenical Patriarchate endeavored to gather there the brightest minds of the Nation in order to bequeath their knowledge to the enslaved Greeks. While at the same time it endeavored to send preachers even to distant areas in order to build monasteries which would operate as spiritual centers of their areas.

Thus, the 16th century is a century during which a multitude of important monasteries in the Greek land were founded. The Monastery of Barlaam in Meteora, the monastery of Stavronikita on Mount Athos, the monastery of Flamourios in Pelion, the monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries near Kastoria are only some of the important monastic centers created at this time with the initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate based on a central plan. At that time there also appeared the first fiery preachers who organized Greece, teaching Christ and Fatherland. The Holy New-Martyr Iakovos the New is the most important of them. Having lived in asceticism for many years in the Skete of Iviron on Mount Athos he later traveled to Aetolia-Acarnania with his disciples in order to teach the enslaved Greeks. Here he was finally arrested and suffered martyrdom in Adrianopolis. St. David the Elder, founder of the monastery of the same name in Euboea is another preacher, St. Dionysios of Olympus reestablished monasticism in Olympus, while St. Theonas, disciple of the previously mentioned St. Iakovos of Iviron founded the monastery of St. Anastasia near Galatista, Halkidiki, who later became Archbishop of Thessaloniki. St. Bessarion, Bishop of Larisa , and the Holy New-Martyr Seraphim, Bishop of Phanarion and Neochori stand out as leaders of the enslaved Nation bravely and boldly resisting the arbitrariness of the Turkish administration and slowly organizing the resistance of the enslaved Nation.

The 17th century is a century during which the Church’s attempts for freedom though the enhancement of education are intensified. The Martyr-Patriarch Cyril Lucaris founded in Constantinople the first printing press controlled exclusively by Greeks. The Jesuits accused the Patriarch of being a Protestant and the Turks strangled him and destroyed the printing press. However, they managed to print the first translation of the New Testament into Modern Greek by Maximos of Gallipoli. Our First-Hierarch St. Chrysostomos the New, former Metropolitan of Florina wrote a detailed dissertation as part of his studies at the Halki Theological School in order to prove the Orthodoxy and sanctity of Cyril Lucaris, championing his memory against his impious slanderers.

In the 18th century the Nation finds itself at a boiling point while the Church intensifies its efforts to shake off the Ottoman Yoke. The founding of the Athonite Academy[3] on Mount Athos is part of the Church’s attempt to prepare the struggle. Evgenios Voulgaris, a great teacher of the Nation, was one of the first leaders of the spiritual rebirth of the Nation at this time.

During the dark centuries of slavery the clergy were the ones who bequeathed knowledge to the thirsty souls of the “cattle” (as the Turks disparagingly called them tr.) and gave them hope for a better tomorrow, keeping alive the memory of a glorious past. The cloud of New-Martyrs, whose holy lives St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain describes with such detail in his Neomartyrologion, watered with its blood the tree of the Nation’s freedom which managed to ignite and bear fruit in 1821. The roots of the tree, however, were continuously watered with the blood and sweat of the clergy during the centuries of slavery. St. Cosmas the Aetolian, the most prominent awakener of the Nation, taught during those dark years the worth of education for the preservation of our national consciousness.

The presence of the clergy was particularly felt in the Filiki Eteria, or Society of Friends, the organization which constituted the headquarters of the struggle in its first phase. Ignatius Metropolitan of Hungary-Vallachia, Gregory the Dikaios or “Papaflesas”, were only some of those clergy who set all the fervor of their soul to the service of the Nation enflaming the souls of the enslaved Greeks and organizing the Nation in order to accomplish the titanic effort of throwing off the barbarous Ottoman Yoke. Naturally, all the clergy were not in agreement on when the struggle should begin. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, however, and many teachers of the Nation, such as the much-maligned Adamantios Koraes believed that the Revolution required sufficient preparation which would require much time, otherwise the dangers for the enslaved Greeks, especially those who lived closest to the centers of Ottoman authority would be great. Effectively this attitude was natural, since the Ecumenical Patriarchate was not willing at that time to neglect its pastoral care, which consisted also of protecting the life of its flock. The slaughters which followed the eruption of the Revolution proved how correct the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne were, who did not desire the immediate start of the struggle.

Finally, the struggle began with the eruption of Ypsilantis’ movement at the Danubian Principalities. Many put forward the argument against the Church the fact that St. Gregory V excommunicated the revolutionaries without considering that this action was imposed on him in order to protect the enslaved Greeks from the mania of the conquer in those lands the Revolution did not touch. Patriarch Gregory paid with his life for the indirect but essential support which he offered to the Nation at this critical time. Many clergy followed him in martyrdom. Cyril VI, former Ecumenical Patriarch was hanged in Adrianople, the Hierarchs from Chios: Dorotheos Proios of Adrianople, and Dionysios Kalliarchis of Ephesus were hanged in April 1821 at Mega Revma, the Hierarchs from Andros: Paisios Neris of Varna, and Gregory Bitsis of Methone were massacred before the very eyes of their flock. Already from its beginning the Revolution was baptized in the sacred blood of the clergy. Germanos of Old Patra with his symbolic lifting of the Revolution’s banner at the Holy Lavra became the front man and guide of the struggle during its critical first steps.

Innumerable are the clergy who gave their lives at the altar of the struggle. We should not forget that based on the position of ethnarch (national leader) the Bishops were responsible before the Turkish authority for the “good” behavior of their flock. Esaias of Salona was martyred together with Athanasios Diakos who suffered a terrible martyrdom until he surrendered his holy soul into the hands of God. Cyprian of Cyprus, together with other clergy were hanged on July 9th in Nicosia, having first demonstrated their faith in the destiny of the Nation, as the words of the popular poet Michaelides show: “Romiosyne, the world’s ancient race, no one was found to efface her, no one, because my God protects her from harm. Romiosyne shall be be lost, while the world is lacking. The Metropolitan of Chios, Plato Frangiadis finished his life in martyrdom in 1822 during the days of the catastrophe of Chios. These are the true Saints of Modern Hellenism, not various people of dubious Orthodoxy, supporters of 20th century modernisms, who are promoted by certain people as examples of the life in Christ.

With the convocation of the Modern Greek State the clergy found themselves before a colossal responsibility to create a livable societal organization out of the chaos which the Turks left behind so that the Nation can walk on the road of its destiny. The clergy were best prepared of anyone to undertake this responsibility because they had education and knowledge of the peculiarities of the flock, and the needs of each area. Thus we see clergymen like Joseph of Andriousa, Theodoritos of Vresthena, and Papaflesas taking an active role in the administration. They took part in National Conventions, together with the other strugglers forming democratic constitutions of the struggle and undertaking the weight of the administration. Naturally the clergy organized the education. A clergyman from Chios named Neophytos Vamvas, with great national zeal organized the modern educational system and is one of the first professors of Athens University when it opened its doors in 1837. Papaflesas undertook military responsibilities and spilled his blood in Maniaki, fighting heroically against the Egyptian hordes of Ibrahim that infested the Peloponnese.

Consequently, the order of clergy was the leader and creator of the 1821 Revolution. How much have things changed toady! Modernisms, the introduction of the New Calendar, and the Pan-Heresy of Ecumenism have brought the State Church to an absolutely nullified position in Greek society. The Church which once had national leadership today simply follows developments in society, it watches fatally and helplessly the dramatic developments of society and the Nation which are getting worse. Let us hope that the Lord, 200 years after the 1821 Revolution, brings the rulers of the “official Church” to return to Genuine Orthodoxy, and the Nation to walk proudly once again on the path of its destiny.


[1] Also know as the Phanar Greek Orthodox College or Phanar Roman Orthodox Lyceum (Turkish: Özel Fener Rum Lisesi), known in Greek as the Great School of the Nation (Greek: Μεγάλη του Γένους Σχολή), is the oldest surviving and most prestigious Greek Orthodox school in Constantinople. Tr.

[2] Εstablished in 1454 by the Patriarch, Gennadius Scholarius who appointed the Thessalonian Matthaios Kamariotis as its first Director. Tr.

[3] In 1749




ἑλληνικὴ ἐπανάσταση τοῦ 1821 ἀποτελεῖ σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον γιὰ τοὺς νεοέλληνες, οἱ ὁποῖοι εἶναι ἀνίκανοι νὰ διακρίνουν στὸ κοσμοϊστορικὸ αὐτὸ γεγονὸς τὸ στοιχεῖο ἐκεῖνο τῆς ἱερότητας, ὅπως ἔλεγε ὁ Φώτης Κόντογλου, ποὺ ἀναδεικνύει τὴν ἐπανάσταση σὲ κάτι τὸ ξεχωριστό, τὸ μοναδικὸ καὶ τὸ ἀνυπέρβλητο. Καὶ εἶναι σημεῖο ἀντιλεγόμενο, διότι συνδέεται πολὺ στενὰ μὲ τὴν ἐκκλησία, ἡ ὁποία ὄχι μόνο πρωτοστάτησε στὴν ἐπανάσταση, ἀλλὰ οὐσιαστικὰ τὴν προκάλεσε καὶ τὴν καθοδήγησε, τιθεμένη ἐπικεφαλῆς της.

Ἡ ἐκκλησία στὸ διάβα τῶν αἰώνων κράτησε ἄσβεστη τὴ φλόγα τοῦ ἑλληνισμοῦ καὶ τὴ δίψα του γιὰ ἐλευθερία. Τὸ οικουμενικὸ πατριαρχεῖο ἀμέσως μετὰ τὴν ἅλωση τοῦ 1453 φρόντισε νὰ ἀναδιοργανώσει τὴν παιδεία τοῦ ὑποδούλου γένους, μὲ τὴν πεποίθηση ὅτι ἡ παιδεία θὰ διασφάλιζε τὴν ἐθνικὴ συνέχεια καὶ θὰ ἐπέτρεπε στοὺς Ἕλληνες νὰ ἀποκτήσουν τὴν ἀπαιτουμένη αὐτοπεποίθηση, γιὰ νὰ διεκδικήσουν μὲ πιθανότητες ἐπιτυχίας τὴν χαμένη ἐλευθερία τους. Ὁ ἀγώνας γιὰ τὴν ἀπόκτηση τῆς παιδείας θὰ ἦταν ὅμως ὁπωσδήποτε μακρὺς καὶ ἐπώδυνος. Ἡ πατριαρχικὴ Μεγάλη τοῦ Γένους Σχολὴ δημιουργήθηκε ἤδη τὰ πρῶτα χρόνια μετὰ τὴν ἅλωση. Τὸ πατριαρχεῖο φρόντισε νὰ συγκεντρώσει ἐκεῖ τὰ πιὸ φωτεινὰ μυαλὰ τοῦ ἔθνους, γιὰ νὰ μεταλαμπαδεύσουν τὶς γνώσεις τους στοὺς ὑπόδουλους. Παράλληλα φρόντισε νὰ στείλει ἱεροκήρυκες ἀκόμη καὶ στὶς πιὸ ἀπομακρυσμένες περιοχὲς τῆς χώρας, γιὰ νὰ χτίσουν μοναστήρια, τὰ ὁποία θὰ λειτουργοῦσαν ὡς πνευματικὰ κέντρα τῶν περιοχῶν αὐτῶν.

Ἔτσι ὁ δέκατος ἕκτος αἰῶνας εἶναι ὁ αἰῶνας τῆς ἵδρυσης ἑνὸς πλήθους σημαντικῶν μοναστηριῶν στὸν ἑλληνικὸ χῶρο. Ἡ μονὴ Βαρλαὰμ στὰ Μετέωρα, ἡ μονὴ Σταυρονικήτα στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, ἡ μονὴ Φλαμουρίου στὸ Πήλιο, ἡ μονὴ τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀναργύρων κοντὰ στὴν Καστοριὰ εἶναι μερικὰ μόνο ἀπὸ τὰ σημαντικὰ μοναστικὰ κέντρα ποὺ δημιουργοῦνται τὴν ἐποχὴ αὐτὴ μὲ πρωτοβουλία τοῦ πατριαρχείου βάσει ἑνὸς κεντρικοῦ σχεδιασμοῦ. Τότε ἐμφανίζονται κι’ οἱ πρῶτοι φλογεροὶ ἱεροκήρυκες ποὺ ὀργώνουν τὴν Ἑλλάδα, διδάσκοντας Χριστὸ καὶ πατρίδα. Ὁ ἅγιος νεομάρτυς Ἰάκωβος ὁ Νέος εἶναι ὁ πιὸ σημαντικὸς ἀπὸ αὐτούς. Ἀφοῦ ἀσκήτεψε γιὰ πολλὰ χρόνια στὴν σκήτη Ἰβήρων στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, μετέβη στὴ συνέχεια στὴν Αἰτωλοακαρνανία μὲ τοὺς μαθητές του, γιὰ νὰ διδάξει τοὺς ὑποδούλους. Ἐκεῖ τελικὰ τὸν συνέλαβαν καὶ ὑπέστη τὸ μαρτύριο στὴν Ἀδριανούπολη. Ὁ ὅσιος Δαυὶδ ὁ Γέρων, ἱδρυτὴς τῆς ὁμώνυμης μονῆς στὴν Εὔβοια εἶναι ἕνας ἄλλος ἱεροκήρυκας, ὁ ὅσιος Διονύσιος ὁ ἐν Ὀλύμπῳ ἀνανεώνει τὸν μοναχισμὸ στὸν Ὄλυμπο, ἐνῶ ὁ ἅγιος Θεωνᾶς, μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀγίου Ἰακώβου τοῦ Ἰβηροσκητιώτου, ἵδρυσε τὴ μονὴ τῆς Ἀγίας Ἀναστασίας κοντὰ στὴ Γαλάτιστα τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς κι’ ἔγινε ἀργότερα ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Θεσσαλονίκης. Ὁ ἅγιος Βησσαρίων ἐπίσκοπος Λαρίσης καὶ ὁ ἅγιος νεομάρτυς Σεραφεὶμ ἐπίσκοπος Φαναρίου καὶ Νεοχωρίου, ἀναδεικνύονται σὲ ἡγέτες τοῦ δούλου γένους, ἀντιστεκόμενοι μὲ θάρρος καὶ παρρησία στὶς αὐθαιρεσίες τῆς τουρκικῆς διοίκησης καὶ ὀργανώνοντας σιγὰ σιγὰ τὴν αντίσταση τοῦ ὑπόδουλου γένους.

Ὁ δέκατος ἕβδομος αἰῶνας εἶναι ὁ αἰῶνας κατὰ τὸν ὁποῖον οἱ προσπάθειες τῆς ἐκκλησίας γιὰ τὴν ἀπελευθέρωση μέσῳ τῆς ἐνίσχυσης τῆς παιδείας ἐντείνονται. Ὁ μάρτυρας πατριάρχης Κύριλλος Λούκαρης, ἵδρυσε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη τὸ πρῶτο τυπογραφεῖο ἐλεγχόμενο ἀποκλειστικὰ ἀπὸ Ἕλληνες. Οἱ Ἰησουίτες κατηγόρησαν τὸν πατριάρχη ὡς προτεστάντη καὶ οἱ Τοῦρκοι τὸν ἀπαγχόνισαν, ἐνῶ τὸ τυπογραφεῖο ἔκλεισε. Πρόλαβε ὅμως νὰ τυπωθεῖ ἡ πρώτη μετάφραση τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης στὰ νέα ἑλληνικὰ ἀπὸ τὸν Μάξιμο τὸν Καλλιπολίτη. Ὁ ἅγιος ἱεράρχης μας, Χρυσόστομος πρώην Φλωρίνης, ὅταν σπούδαζε στὴ Σχολὴ τῆς Χάλκης, ἔγραψε ἐκτενῆ διατριβή, γιὰ νὰ ἀποδείξει τὴν ὀρθοδοξία καὶ τὴν ἁγιότητα τοῦ Κυρίλλου Λούκαρη, ὑπερασπιζόμενος τὴν μνήμη του ἔναντι τῶν ἀνίερων συκοφαντῶν του.

Τὸν δέκατο ὄγδοο αἰῶνα τὸ ἔθνος βρίσκεται σὲ κατάσταση ἀναβρασμοῦ, ἐνῶ ἡ ἐκκλησία ἐντείνει τις προσπάθειές της γιὰ τὴν ἀποτίναξη τοῦ ὀθωμανικοῦ ζυγοῦ. Ἡ ἵδρυση τῆς Ἀθωνιάδος σχολῆς στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος ἐντάσσεται στὴν ὅλη προσπάθεια τῆς ἐκκλησίας νὰ προετοιμάσει τὸν ἀγῶνα. Ὁ Εὐγένιος Βούλγαρης, μέγας διδάσκαλος τοῦ Γένους, ἦταν ἕνας ἀπὸ τοὺς πρωτεργάτες τῆς πνευματικῆς ἀναγεννήσεως τοῦ ἔθνους τὴν ἐποχὴ αὐτή.

Στοὺς σκοτεινοὺς αἰῶνες τῆς δουλείας ὁ κληρικὸς ἦταν λοιπὸν ἐκεῖνος ποὺ μεταλαμπάδευε τὴ γνώση στὶς διψασμένες ψυχὲς τῶν ραγιάδων καὶ τοὺς έδινε τὴν ἐλπίδα γιὰ ἕνα καλύτερο αὔριο, κρατῶντας ζωντανὴ τὴν ἀνάμνηση ἑνὸς ἐνδόξου παρελθόντος. Τὸ νέφος τῶν νεομαρτύρων ποὺ τόσο παραστατικὰ περιγράφει τὴν ἁγία ζωή τους στὸ Νέον Μαρτυρολόγιον ὁ ἅγιος Νικόδημος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης πότισαν μὲ τὸ αἷμα τους τὸ δένδρο τῆς ἐλευθερίας τοῦ ἔθνους, ποὺ κατάφερε νὰ φουντώσει καὶ νὰ δώσει καρποὺς τὸ 1821. Οἱ ρίζες ὅμως τοῦ δένδρου ποτίζονταν ἀδιάκοπα μὲ τὸ αἷμα καὶ τὸν ἱδρῶτα τῶν κληρικῶν στοὺς αἰῶνες τῆς δουλείας. Ὁ ἅγιος Κοσμᾶς ὁ Αἰτωλὸς εἶναι ὁ πιὸ ἐπιφανὴς ἐθνεγέρτης, ἐκεῖνος ποὺ δίδαξε στὰ σκοτεινὰ χρόνια τὴν ἀξία τῆς παιδείας γιὰ τὴ διατήρηση τῆς ἐθνικῆς μας συνείδησης.

Ἡ παρουσία τῶν κληρικῶν ἦταν ἰδιαίτερα αἰσθητὴ στὴν Φιλικὴ Ἑταιρεία, τὴν ὀργάνωση ποὺ ἀποτέλεσε σὲ πρώτη φάση τὸ ἐπιτελεῖο τοῦ ἀγῶνα. Ὁ Οὑγγροβλαχίας Ἰγνάτιος, ὁ Γρηγόριος Δικαῖος ἤ Παπαφλέσσας ἦταν μερικοὶ μόνο ἀπὸ τοὺς κληρικοὺς ἐκείνους ποὺ ἔθεσαν ὅλη τὴ θέρμη τῆς ψυχῆς τους στὴν ὑπηρεσία τοῦ ἔθνους, φλογίζοντας τὶς καρδιὲς τῶν ὑπόδουλων Ἑλλήνων καὶ ὀργανώνοντας τὸ ἔθνος γιὰ νὰ ἀντεπεξέλθει στὴν τιτάνια προσπάθεια γιὰ τὴν ἀποτίναξη τοῦ τουρκικοῦ ζυγοῦ καὶ τῆς βαρβαρότητας. Δὲν ἦταν φυσικὰ ὅλοι οἱ κληρικοὶ σύμφωνοι στὸν χρόνο ἔναρξης τοῦ ἀγῶνα. Τὸ οἰκουμενικὸ πατριαρχεῖο, ὅπως καὶ πολλοὶ διδάσκαλοι τοῦ Γένους, σὰν τὸν κατασυκοφαντημένο Ἀδαμάντιο Κοραή, πίστευαν ὅτι ἡ ἐπανάσταση ἀπαιτοῦσε προπαρασκευὴ ἱκανή, ἡ ὁποία θὰ ἀπαιτοῦσε ἀρκετὸ χρόνο, διαφορετικὰ οἱ κίνδυνοι γιὰ τοὺς ὑπόδουλους Ἕλληνες, ἰδιαίτερα ἐκείνους ποὺ βρίσκονταν κοντύτερα στὰ κέντρα ἐξουσίας τῶν Ὀθωμανῶν, θὰ ἦταν μεγάλοι. Κι’ ἦταν φυσικὴ ἡ ἐφεκτικὴ αὐτὴ στάση, ἐφόσον τὸ οἰκουμενικὸ πατριαρχεῖο δὲν ἦταν διατεθειμένο τότε νὰ ἀποσείσει τὴν ποιμαντική του μέριμνα, ἡ ὁποία συνίστατο καὶ στὴ διαφύλαξη τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ ποιμνίου του. Οἱ σφαγὲς ποὺ ἀκολούθησαν τὴν ἔκρηξη τῆς ἐπαναστάσεως ἀπέδειξαν πόσο δίκαιο εἶχαν οἱ ἱεράρχες τοῦ οἰκουμενικοῦ θρόνου, ποὺ δὲν εὐνοοῦσαν τὴν ἄμεση ἔναρξη τοῦ ἀγῶνα.

Τελικὰ ὁ ἀγώνας ξεκίνησε μὲ τὴν ἔκρηξη τοῦ κινήματος τοῦ Ὑψηλάντη στὶς Παραδουνάβειες ἡγεμονίες. Πολλοὶ προβάλλουν ὡς ἐπιχείρημα κατὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας τὸ γεγονὸς ὅτι ὁ ἅγιος Γρηγόριος ὁ Ε΄ ἀφόρισε τοὺς ἐπαναστάτες, χωρὶς νὰ ἀναλογίζονται ὅτι αὐτὸ ἀποτελοῦσε ἐπιβεβλημένη ἐνέργεια, προκειμένου νὰ διαφυλαχθοῦν οἱ ὑπόδουλοι Ἕλληνες ἀπὸ τὴν μανία τοῦ κατακτητῆ στὰ ἐδάφη ἐκεῖνα ποὺ δὲν τὰ ἄγγιξε ἡ ἐπανάσταση. Ὁ πατριάρχης Γρηγόριος πλήρωσε μὲ τὴ ζωή του τὴν ἔμμεση ἀλλὰ οὐσιαστικὴ ὑποστήριξη ποὺ προσέφερε στὸ ἔθνος τὴν κρίσιμη ἐκείνη ὥρα τῆς ἐπανάστασης. Τὸν ἀκολούθησε μία πλειάδα κληρικῶν. Ὁ Κύριλλος ὁ ΣΤ’, πρώην οἰκουμενικὸς πατριάρχης, ἀπαγχονίστηκε στὴν Ἀδριανούπολη, οἱ Χῖοι ἱεράρχες Ἀδριανουπόλεως Δωρόθεος Πρώϊος καὶ Ἐφέσου Διονύσιος ὁ Καλλιάρχης ἀπαγχονίστηκαν τὸν Ἀπρίλιο τοῦ 1821 στὸ Μέγα Ῥεῦμα, οἱ Ἄνδριοι ἱεράρχες Βάρνης Παΐσιος Νέρης καὶ Μεθώνης Γρηγόριος Μπίστης πλήρωσαν ἐπίσης μὲ τὴ ζωή τους τὴν ἐπανάσταση, ὁ Μεθώνης Γρηγόριος κατακρεουργήθηκε μάλιστα μπροστὰ στὰ μάτια τοῦ ποιμνίου του. Ἡ ἐπανάσταση ἤδη στὴν ἔναρξή της λοιπὸν βάφτηκε μὲ τὸ ἱερὸ αἷμα τοῦ κλήρου. Ὁ Παλαιῶν Πατρῶν Γερμανὸς μὲ τὴ συμβολικὴ ὕψωση τοῦ λαβάρου τῆς ἐπαναστάσεως στὴν Ἁγία Λαύρα ἔγινε ὁ μπροστάρης καὶ ὁ καθοδηγητὴς τοῦ ἀγῶνα στὰ πρῶτα κρίσιμα βήματά του.

Ἀμέτρητοι εἶναι οἱ κληρικοὶ ποὺ ἔδωσαν τὴ ζωή τους στὸν βωμὸ τοῦ ἀγῶνα. Δὲν πρέπει νὰ ξεχνᾶμε ὅτι βάσει τοῦ ἐθναρχικοῦ θεσμοῦ οἱ ἐπίσκοποι ἦταν ὑπεύθυνοι ἔναντι τῆς τουρκικῆς διοικήσεως γιὰ τὴν «καλὴ» συμπεριφορὰ τοῦ ποιμνίου τους. Ὁ Σαλώνων Ἠσαΐας μαρτύρησε μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Ἀθανάσιο Διάκο, ποὺ ὑπέστη φρικτὰ μαρτύρια μέχρι νὰ παραδώσει τὴν ἁγία του ψυχὴ στὰ χέρια τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὁ Κύπρου Κυπριανὸς μαζὶ μὲ ἄλλους κληρικοὺς ἀπαγχονίσθηκαν στὶς 9 Ἰουλίου στὴν Λευκωσία, ἀφοῦ πρῶτα διατράνωσαν τὴν πίστη τους στὰ πεπρωμένα τοῦ ἔθνους, ὅπως ἀποδίδει τὰ λόγια τους ὁ λαϊκὸς ποιητὴς Μιχαηλίδης: «Ἡ Ρωμιοσύνη ἒν φυλὴ συνότζαιρη τοῦ κόσμου/ κανένας δὲν εὑρέθηκε γιὰ νὰ τὴν ἐξαλείψει,/ κανένας γιατὶ σκέπει την ἀπ’ τ’ ἅψῃ ὁ Θεός μου,/ ἡ Ρωμιοσύνη θὰ χαθεῖ, ὄντας ὁ κόσμος λείψει». Μαρτυρικὰ τελειώνει τὸν βίο του στὴν Χίο ὁ μητροπολίτης τῆς νήσου Πλάτων Φραγκιάδης τὸ 1822, τὶς μέρες τῆς καταστροφῆς. Αὐτοὶ εἶναι οἱ πραγματικοὶ ἅγιοι τοῦ νέου ἑλληνισμοῦ, ὄχι διάφοροι ἀμφίβολης ὀρθοδοξίας ὑποστηρικτὲς τῶν νεωτερισμῶν τοῦ εἰκοστοῦ αἰῶνος, ποὺ προβάλλονται πρόσφατα ἀπὸ διαφόρους ὡς πρότυπα ἐν Χριστῷ βιοτῆς.

Μὲ τὴ συγκρότηση τοῦ νεοελληνικοῦ κράτους οἱ κληρικοὶ βρέθηκαν ἐνώπιον ἑνὸς κολοσσιαίου καθήκοντος, νὰ δημιουργήσουν ἀπὸ τὸ χάος ποὺ ἄφησαν πίσω τους οἱ Τοῦρκοι ἕναν βιώσιμο κοινωνικὸ ὀργανισμό, προκειμένου τὸ ἔθνος νὰ βαδίσει στὸν δρόμο τῶν πεπρωμένων του. Οἱ κληρικοὶ ἦταν καλύτερα προετοιμασμένοι ἀπὸ τὸν καθένα νὰ ἀναλάβουν τὸ καθῆκον αὐτό, διότι καὶ μόρφωση διέθεταν καὶ γνώση τῆς ἰδιομορφίας τοῦ ποιμνίου καὶ τῶν ἀναγκῶν κάθε περιοχῆς εἶχαν. Ἔτσι βλέπουμε κληρικούς, ὅπως ὁ Ἀνδρούσης Ἰωσήφ, ὁ Βρεσθένης Θεοδώρητος καὶ ὁ Παπαφλέσσας νὰ ἔχουν ἐνεργὸ ρόλο στὴ διοίκηση. Συμμετέχουν στὶς ἐθνικὲς συνελεύσεις, διαμορφώνουν μαζὶ μὲ τοὺς ἀγωνιστὲς τὰ δημοκρατικὰ συντάγματα τοῦ ἀγῶνα καὶ ἀναλαμβάνουν τὰ βάρη τῆς διοικήσεως. Φυσικὸ ἦταν οἱ κληρικοὶ νὰ ἐπικεντρωθοῦν στὰ θέματα τῆς παιδείας. Ὁ Νεόφυτος Βάμβας, Χίος κληρικός, μὲ μεγάλη ἐθνικὴ δράση, εἶναι ο ὀργανωτὴς τῆς σύγχρονης παιδείας καὶ ἕνας ἀπὸ τοὺς πρώτους καθηγητὲς τοῦ Πανεπιστημίου Ἀθηνῶν, ὅταν αὐτὸ ἀνοίγει τὶς πύλες του τὸ 1837. Ὁ Παπαφλέσσας ἀναλαμβάνει καὶ στρατιωτικὰ καθήκοντα καὶ χύνει το αἷμα του στὴ μάχη στὸ Μανιάκι, πολεμῶντας ἡρωϊκὰ ἐνάντια στὶς αἰγυπτιακὲς ὀρδὲς τοῦ Ἰμπραήμ, ποὺ λυμαίνονταν τὴν Πελοπόννησο.

Ὁ κλῆρος ἦταν, ἑπομένως, ὁ πρωτεργάτης καὶ ὁ δημιουργὸς τῆς ἐπαναστάσεως τοῦ 1821. Πόσο ἔχουν ἀλλάξει τὰ πράγματα σήμερα! Οἱ νεωτερισμοί, ἡ εἰσαγωγὴ τοῦ νέου ἡμερολογίου καὶ ἡ παναίρεση τοῦ οἰκουμενισμοῦ ἔχουν φέρει τὴν κρατοῦσα ἐκκλησία σὲ ἀπόλυτα μειονεκτικὴ θέση στὴν ἑλληνικὴ κοινωνία. Ἡ ἄλλοτε ἐθναρχοῦσα ἐκκλησία εἶναι σήμερα οὐραγὸς τῶν ἐξελίξεων, παρακολουθεῖ μοιραία καὶ ἄβουλη τὴν δραματικὴ εξέλιξη της κοινωνίας καὶ τοῦ ἔθνους ἐπὶ τὰ χείρω.  Ἂς ἐλπίσουμε ὁ Κύριος, διακόσια χρόνια μετὰ τὴν ἐπανάσταση τοῦ 1821, νὰ συνεφέρει τοὺς ταγοὺς τῆς ἐπίσημης ἐκκλησίας, γιὰ νὰ ἐπιστρέψουν στὴ γνήσια ὀρθοδοξία, καὶ τὸ ἔθνος νὰ βαδίσει ξανὰ ἀγέρωχο στὸν δρόμο τῶν πεπρωμένων του.