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Becky Yerocostas: Inspiring Young Hellenes

09.09.2016 in Arts & Culture, History

Becky Yerocostas: Inspiring Young Hellenes Socrates said, “Anyone can be a Hellene, by their heart, their mind, their spirit.” For years now, Becky Yerocostas has been creating and inspiring young “Hellenes.” First as a Greek School teacher in her local church community, and now she has expanded her influence, sharing Greek history, culture and tradition with young scholars in Northern California.   Q.Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am the proud mother of four wonderful children, and a teacher who is very passionate about my heritage. First, I was a teacher, and then I became the Director of the…

St. Nektarios: The Saint of the 20th Century

09.09.2016 in Arts & Culture, History, Travel

St. Nektarios: The Saint of the 20th Century Teacher, writer, reverend father…. Saint Nektarios tended and cared for those who heeded his teachings, and even those who did not. Though he lived a life faced with many challenges, the Church today reveres his life and many contributions.   If asked what St. Nektarios means to me, I would answer much more than just the fact that we have the same name…   Born as a premature baby, weighing just a bit over three pounds, I was critically ill, and my parents prayed. They prayed and promised to name me after…

October 28, 1940: The Day Greece Scored Victory for Allied Forces

01.09.2016 in History

October 28, 1940 The Day Greece Scored Victory for Allied Forces The following is an excerpt from the: http://politismosmuseum.org/en/exhibitions/current/300-oxi-day  curated by the CSUS Department of Hellenic Studies    See the Oxi Day Exhibit here: http://politismosmuseum.org/en/exhibitions/current/300-oxi-day  Seventy five years ago, Ioannes Metaxas was awoken at 3:00 in the morning by the Italian Ambassador, Emanuele Grazzi. Metaxas escorted Grazzi to the sitting room on the right side of the main entrance to Metaxas’ Kifissia residence. Here, Grazzi reluctantly delivered an Italian ultimatum to Metaxas. The ultimatum stated that either Greece allow Italy to occupy certain strategic parts of Greece, or face invasion. Metaxas responded with ‘Oxi’…

Dionysius of Zakynthos

01.09.2016 in History

Dionysius of Zakynthos Saint Dionysius of Zakynthos is a profound figure of the Greek Orthodox Church.  He followed a humble and spiritual path in life that later saw the recognition of his sainthood and the miraculous preservation of his body.    Life  Saint Dionysius was born in 1547 to a wealthy family who provided him with theological education and the knowledge of several foreign languages that enhanced his distinguished intellect and spirituality.   After the death of his parents, at the age of 20, he decided to devote his life to God, become a monk and lead an ascetic life. In 1560 he…

Mount Athos: The Holy Land of Greece

01.09.2016 in History

Mount Athos: The Holy Land of Greece   The heart of Byzantine splendor still beats on the steep slopes of Mount Athos. The “Holy Mountain” and the “Garden of the Virgin Mary” are some of the names given to Mount Athos over the years, a place which the Virgin Mary had chosen to be her garden on earth. In antiquity the entire region was called Ακτή (shore), and according to legend, the sea god Poseidon once killed a giant named Athos here using a massive piece of stone; the deceased’s name then given to the whole peninsula.    Mount Athos lies…

Ancient Olympia: A Panhellenic benchmark

01.08.2016 in History

Ancient Olympia:  A Panhellenic benchmark     It may be a well-known fact that the Ancient Greeks were almost constantly at war – they considered battle a necessary evil when peace was not possible. However, Ancient Olympia was a special “theatre of war”, a field of competition among the Greeks where no blood was shed….     The ancient site of Altis (as Olympia was called in antiquity) lies in the sublime valley of the Alpheios River in the western Peloponnese. Olympia was originally dedicated to Zeus, the Father of Gods, and is still known today for the most important athletic event ever…

The Ancient Olympic Games: A Panhellenic Ideal

01.08.2016 in History

The Ancient Olympic Games:  A Panhellenic Ideal    The modern Olympic Games owe their reputation to a small piece of land in the western Peloponnese – the sanctuary of Ancient Olympia – where an athletic competition occurred in honor of Zeus every four years. In this place, and during this sacred time, athletes and judges along with all visitors were under the protection of the sacred truce. No one but the gods could interrupt the most magnificent religious and athletic festival in the Greek world, a tradition that would continue for over a millennium (776 BCE-393 AD).     For the Greeks,…

Skorpios – The Island of Onassis

01.07.2016 in History

Skorpios  – The Island of Onassis    In 1963, Aristotle Onassis bought the Ionian island of Skorpios, located just off the western coast of Lefkada, and transformed it into his summer residence.  When first purchased, the island did not even have running water.  But Onassis, known for his business acumen, attention to the smallest detail and desire for the greatest of quality, turned Skorpios into an unbelievable private oasis.     When purchased, the island was fairly barren.  Utilities were piped in, forests planted, and Onassis even used his yacht the “Christina” to bring in sand from another Greek island for the…

Paul J. Ioannidis: Legends & Legacies

01.07.2016 in History

Paul J. Ioannidis: Legends & Legacies   In February of 1984, Paul J. Ioannidis retired as a Captain of Olympic Airways (OA) having logged 22,500 hours as a Captain and Instructor. From the time Aristotle Onassis acquired OA in 1957, Ioannidis had served in various capacities – Chief Flight Instructor, Chief Pilot, Flight Operations Director and eventually Director General. For many, three decades of an illustrious career may be enough. But for Ioannidis, this is but a sliver of the adventures and accomplishments of his life.   «charismatic» exercising a compelling charm that inspires devotion in others. “a charismatic leader”…

The German invasion of Greece

01.04.2016 in History

The German invasion of Greece    April 1941. World War II divided Europe into the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) and the Allies. After the unsuccessful invasion of Fascist Italy in Greece (October 1940-April 1941), the German forces attacked the Greek territory by land and air. Compared to the unprepared and frivolous Italian invasion, the Nazi military machine was more than a considerable enemy. This German operation was part of a wider campaign to occupy the Balkan Peninsula. German dictator Adolf Hitler used this as a defensive strategy before assaulting Russia. However, the renowned German Blitzkrieg (lightning war) came against the…