Saturday, December 9, 2017

In Memoriam - King Michael of Romania

A truly great man has passed. On December 5, 2017 King Michael of Romania died at the age of ninety-six.

A great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, Michael was actually king twice. He became king in 1927 upon the death of his grandfather Ferdinand because his father Carol had abdicated his claim in order to divorce and marry a mistress.

 Only six years old, the country was actually run by a regency council that made such a mess of things that Carol returned in 1930 and took the throne from his son, despite his previous scandal.

Carol made an even bigger mess of things, eventually resulting in himself being a mere puppet within a fascist Romania allied with the Nazis. He abdicated once again in 1940 and fled the country, and a now nineteen year old Michael took the throne once again.

But in 1944, King Michael organized a coup d'état against the fascist government and seized control. He immediately aligned Romania with the allies.

Nevertheless, Churchill and Roosevelt threw Romania under the bus at Yalta and agreed to the Soviets essentially taking over Eastern Europe in exchange for the Soviets leaving Greece alone. Communist machinations resulted in Romania becoming a Soviet satellite and he was forced to abdicate and leave the country in 1947. 

When Communism finally ended, the Romanians formed a republic in which the former king has no status. I find that sad. I personally think Romania would have been better off reconstituting a Constitutional Monarchy. But the fact is, the former Communists who rebranded themselves and took over the country after the execution of Ceaușescu were never interested in that. After all these years, only now does Romania finally have a President, Klaus Iohannis, who was not previously a member of the party. 

King Michael fought and suffered for his country. He lived long enough to see her freed from Soviet oppression. And he was able to return to his homeland, albeit as a former king.

I would like King Michael to now gain a distinction greater than all he had in life. I feel that his fidelity to the Orthodox Faith, alongside his unswerving devotion to his people, and the suffering he endured for his country--against fascists and Communists alike--warrants him to be made a Saint in the Romanian Orthodox Church. 

King Michael - Memory Eternal (the traditional Orthodox invocation on behalf of the dead)
Regele Mihai - Veşnică Pomenire

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.

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