Serbia and Orthodox Christianity
Born to Christian parents in 280 AD, Saint George is one of the pre-eminent Christian martyrs found on our Church calendar. His achievements are not only celebrated by Serbs, he is also the patron saint of England, Portugal and Georgia, as well as many regions, cities and towns around the world; and of course, to many thousands of Serbian families as well.
Raised a Christian by his Greek parents, he was thoroughly educated, and at an early age, he became a powerful Roman military officer, soaring through the ranks during the rule of Emperor Diocletian - a pagan. All combined, this brought him, affluence, prestige and a comfortable lifestyle. However, amidst all this, he never neglected his love of Christ our God; and at a youthful age, he was truly tested for that love.
Our Serbian people who have suffered much have taken inspiration from Saint George, allowing us to endure countless injustices - just as he did.
Uncle Draza, is a prime example of someone inspired to carry a burden for his people; his Blessed Memory fires us - the same way Saint George did for him. How could it not? He could have laid down his arms and marched in captivity, or gone home to quietly await fate, as so many thousands did. No, that was not the way of a Serb, and not the way of a faithful Orthodox Christian. Our Uncle Draza knew his destiny, and never wavered from it. First and foremost, came God, then King, followed by the home and hearth.
That system of belief was responsible for the rise of a new army, Serbian Chetniks; without exception, it was also responsible for the salvation of the entire nation. Because of Christ and Saint George, he had the fortitude to stand up - guiding the way for many thousands more to fight and die for what is noble and right. So here we are today scattered around the world, and most importantly, because of those past sacrifices of Uncle Draza and many thousands more, our Orthodox Homeland endures!
What hope did Saint George see when threatened with torture, humiliation, and death, or for that matter Uncle Draza, during those the dark days of 1941. They both saw one thing, Eternal Salvation and a promise of a Heavenly Kingdom, as did Prince Lazar on Kosovo Field. They did not fear death; they knew something better awaited, no amount of slashes or nails through the feet - inflicted by pagan Romans, Turkish pikes or swords, or German tanks and guns frightened these men. They knew what must be done!
That was the past. Today we are living in a new epoch; we must now look to the future, yet always entrenched and excited by our glorious annals in history. We Serbian Chetniks know our path, and we must not waver. Kosovo is Serbia - this is not just an insincere slogan to be repeated, it is truth. Let know one tell you otherwise, as Chetniks - we must hold that truth in our hearts to encourage others. There is no other way. Serbia needs us, all of Serbia needs us, Kosovo is Serbia - Krajina is Serbia! Never capitulate, always take heart and motivation from Saint George, our patron Saint!
If you do not believe these truths, then why celebrate Saint George, why honor Uncle Draza and ask why did Christ die on the Cross for us? In today's hyper-materialistic and self-centered world, to make sacrifices as did these men seems absurd, and even an anachronism - I wholeheartedly disagree.
HRH Prince Vladimir Karadjordjevic put it precisely when declaring his views about our Uncle Draza:
This man [Draza Mihailovic] was not just a hero; he was a living legend. His death was mainly due to nothing short of a shameful betray by our so-called allies. I cannot help but feel that his life story rings similar to many stories I have heard about [the] saints!
Our cause is just; we must remain united, work harder and never hesitate in our conviction. Saint George, given a choice by Diocletian, had only to offer sacrifice to a Roman God and survive. Prince Lazar only needed to pay homage to the Sultan and keep his life. Uncle Draza could have stepped on an American plane in 1944, flying off to safety in Italy, preserving his life. All said no, for they held the Truth in their hearts, and so must we.