The fall of an empire

Alack and alas! The Turks have taken Constantinople,
They’ve taken the King’s throne, the rulers are changed.
Churches mourn, monasteries cry,
and St. John Chrysostom weeps and laments.
“Don’t cry, St. John, and don’t lament, Romania is taken.
But though gone, Romania will blossom again.”

– From a poem in praise of Constantinople

Constantinople, wondrous city near the Bosphorus blue,

With your glory, whose glory can be measured?

You were an awesome battleground of spiritual warriors,

Blasphemous heretics and saints of God.

As through a sieve you sifted throughout the centuries long

And declared apostates and servants of God.

By many sins you are soiled, and by filth of sinners,

You are consecrated with the abundance of the blood of martyrs.

Who could enumerate the spiritual heroes,

And all heavenly visions and your mysteries, all?

The angels of God often swooped down upon you,

And men, as angels, to heaven were raised.

The Mother of God, many times, within you appeared,

To deliver those in danger, the sick to heal.

The flock of wonderful saints, over you, hover

And the prayers of your children, to the Most High, bear.

O, how many saints were your children!

As many as there are lilies next to lilies and saints next to saints!

History and calendar, in red, you wrote,

By your effort even the great Symbol [The Creed] was written.

And about you, in such a way, this could be said:

Among the many cities, a red letter you are.

With Holy Faith, you enlightened the universe

From paganism and heresies, the world you healed.

Tortured much, but not slain, you have not yet passed.

That is why we all celebrate you! Confessor, that you are!

Throughout the earth and in the heavens, your glory echoes;

Everyone baptized, a great gratitude owes you.

St. Nikolaj (Velimirovic)

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