His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia has issued a special message on the occasion of International Greek Language Day today.
In his message, Archbishop Makarios says the day does not exclude anyone of different heritage, but rather helps them recognise the fundamental role Greek language plays in cultures around the world.
Full Message in English here:
Today, on a day of remembrance for our national poet Dionysios Solomos, Hellenism everywhere proudly celebrates, for the fourth year, International Greek Language Day. No one is excluded from this holiday. On the contrary, everyone participates and there are many who, regardless of origin, recognise the fundamental role the Greek language plays in the consolidation of European, as well as global, culture.
And, of course, all Christians participate wholeheartedly, considering that the Greek language was the vehicle for the spread of the Holy Gospel and the truth of Christ in the universe.
The Greek diaspora in Australia also has one more reason to celebrate today as it embraced and supported the effort for the establishment of International Greek Language Day from the very beginning. After all, I personally have no doubt that expatriates here in Australia are the most dynamic part of the Hellenes abroad, as they keep their relationship with the motherland alive and honor the customs and traditions, the Orthodox faith and of course, the language of our ancestors.
For our Holy Archdiocese, it is our primary and sacred duty to work to maintain and strengthen these strong bonds. With a deep conviction that the Greek language is a structural element of our identity, we have dedicated ourselves to the goal of defending and reviving it.
A goal that is served consistently and systematically by our educational institutions, through the values of teachers who staff them, as well as from our parishes with the care of our good priests and members of the church committees. In addition, the goal serves every emergency and need, as has been recently demonstrated when the Archdiocese led the fight to save the Greek Studies Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
READ MORE: Greek language program to continue at La Trobe.
Honoring its role and responsibility towards the Greek diaspora, our Holy Archdiocese will continue to be present daily in all small and large battles, holding high the flag of the sacred struggle for the perpetuation of the Greek language in Australia.
But we need helpers and for all our expatriates to make this struggle part of their personal and family affairs, in every home, in every neighborhood and in every corner of the continent where the heart of Hellenism beats. My personal request, on the occasion of today, is to let us all follow the prompting of our poet, Kostis Palamas: “Για τη μητέρα γλώσσα μας τα λάβαρα κρατήστε!”