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Dervishes of the Order of Mevlevidon*

ΔερβισηδεςThis is how George T. Kandilaptis of Kaneos recorded the initiation of Archpriest Sylvestros in his book Pontian Historical Analects  (Publication by Kyriakides)

. … Suddenly the Synodal  door was opened abruptly and two Dervishes of the Order of Mevlevidon entered holding each a cane  carrying a spear and pickaxe and citing various sayings of the Quran checked the surrounding. But in a surprise move he saw that as soon as they entered carefully closed the meeting room door.

They supported their canes in the corner and uncovering their heads from their head veil, they proceeded  and after a long and deep Christian piety bent their knees and bowed to the right of the high priest  and asked his blessing in clear Greek dialect. The High Priest Silvestros stunned by the events noticing two sun burnt  faces but beautiful  features with rich combed hair falling on their shoulder showing their external Ottoman costume but with Greek characteristics speaking the Greek dialect. The Bishop was wondering if he was among Christians or Ottoman spies.

Noticing his concern one of the Dervishes making sure the surroundings not to be noticed by anyone and that he was in a safe place, he said. “Your Eminence , O Lord , we see that you are in a mistrust and doubt if we are saying the truth that we are Greek Christians. We are secret disciples of Odessa’s Φιλική Εταιρεία/Friendly Society founded in the year 1814 under the blessed memory of men Athanasios  Tzakalof , Nikolaos Skoufas, and Emmanuel  Xanthou. We are sent to various Eastern cities in recruiting members and funds in favor of national revolution uprising and we are telling the absolute truth” they said and unscrewed their long canes thus falling on the floor cylindrical components and other letters directed to the Hellenism in Turkey signed by the late Gregory V  and other freedom pioneers. At once the eyes of the Metropolitan opened, embraced them like a father his children and placing his trembling hands with emotion on their heads addressed them with tears:

” The Almighty, who promises resurrection of dead and hearts I hope to bless our struggle and to direct it in a port without waves.  I hope the whole nation takes into account its more than four hundred years of suffering and united revolt against the tyranny to smash the devil of slavery in the head and create the new Hellenic Nation. I urge you until the appropriate time harmony, prudence/precaution, cohesiveness/tenacity and energy, if we are to accomplish a great and glorious undertaking”.

Such were in summary the words of the ever memorable Metropolitan as were passed down by our parents and the elderly of our homeland.

Getting up the Metropolitan directed them to the kitchen to pacify their hunger, he invited the chief metallurgist and powerful in Pontos ever memorable national martyr Iakovon the Grigoranton to whom he made known of the mission of the two secret apostles/messengers and the death of the two national outstanding leaders Gregory V and Konstantinos Mourouzis . It was indescribable the sadness and depression of noble Iakovos for the death of the two and especially his bosom friend Konstantinos Mourouzis , who he got to know in Constantinople where he traveled every year carrying ores every year  so horrible oath swore against the Turks and compelled the High Priest Silvestros to preach on churches that anyone who says good Turk was not worthy to receive holy communion for seven years and for life for opposite act.

So it was decided as good and wise that the dressed Dervishes apostles of the Friendly Society be sent to St. George Choutoura for total security and a decision to solicit contributions in Argyroupolis and  its provinces. On August 15 , the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary right after the church service 25 elders of the church of Argyroupoleos meeting with Bishop were made partakers of the National Mission and offered everyone without exception with the citizens their contribution.

Thus in a two month time the amount 12000 grosia (considerable amount for the time)  was handed to the apostles against a receipt for the sake of the great national project , the Resurrection of the homeland Fatherland . ”

*According to Wikipedia..a Dervish or  Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or “Tariqah”, known for their extreme poverty and austerity. His focus is on the universal values of love and service, deserting the illusions of ego to reach God. In most Sufi orders, a dervishis known to practice dhikr through physical exertions or religious practices to attain the ecstatic trance to reach Allah. The Mawlaw’īyya / Mevlevi Order is a Sufi order in Konya founded by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet and founder of the Mewlewiyya order of dervishes.