massacro a Chios (particolare) 1824, olio su tela, cm.417x354, Museo del Louvre, Parigi.
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix nacque a Charenton-St-Maurice, in
Francia. Nel 1815 divenne l'alievo del pittore francese Pierre-Narcisse Guerin ed iniziò
una carriera che produsse piu' di 850 dipinti e moltissimi disegni, murali, ed altre
opere. Nel 1822 Delacroix espose il suo primo dipinto nell'importante salone di esibizione
Parigino: Dante e Virgilio nell' Inferno. La tecnica usata in questo dipinto serebbe poi
stata utilizzata successivamente anche dagli Impressionisti. La successiva esposizione in
cui inserì le sue opere si tenne nel 1824 e qui presentò : Massacro a Chios. Che
mostrava una grande vivacità di colori ed emozioni ; rappresenta un episodio in cui
20,000 Greci furono uccisi dai Turchi sull'isola di Chios. Il Governo Francese lo comprò
per 6,000 franchi. L'evento per la sua efferratezza ispirò molta letteratura del primo
ottocento riportiamo un testo di di Miljan Peter Ilich ed un articolo dello Stirring Event
of History Londra 1886
Due racconti del massacro del 1822 )
The Massacres of Chios - A site that every Chian should study. Written and maintained by British journalist Christopher A. Long. The site also includes a wealth of information on the genealogy of the prominent Chian families.
Ho ricevuto è lo riporto volentieri (in inglese) da Padre Nicholas Mary, C.SS.R. questo
articolo sul Vescovo Ignazio Giustiniani durante l'invasione Turca a Chios del XIX secolo:
Bishop Giustiniani, a Child of Mary
A TRUE STORY - From the missionary annals
T he famous massacres perpetrated by the Turks on the Greek island of Chios in 1821 have remained justly notorious and have been immortalised for posterity in art and poetry. During the struggle for Greek independence, the Turks butchered tens of thousands of the islands Christian inhabitants, and the Catholic minority shared in the fate of the schismatic majority - of the 13 000 Catholics only 300 remained alive after the slaughter. By Gods Providence, one of their priests was preserved too. It fell to 30-year-old Fr Ignatios Giustiniani to begin a lifes work of gathering his scattered flock, consoling them by every means in his power them for the irreparable losses they had sustained, and rebuilding the formerly flourishing life of the Diocese of Chios. Rome soon realised that in this noble young priest, a descendent of the ancient and remarkable family of the Giustiniani who, centuries before, had conquered the Island of Chios, and given it over to the Byzantine Emperors, the Catholics of Chios had a worthy shepherd of their souls, and he was made Bishop of the island in 1830. There he laboured until his saintly death on 11 March 1875, in the 84th year of his age, the 61st of his priesthood, and the 50th of his episcopal dignity. He had indeed added more lustre to the name of a family which glories in having a canonised saint amongst its members, St Lawrence Justinian ( 1456). Bishop Giustiniani could boast of more than his noble birth and ancient lineage; his chief praise lay in his great virtue, in his large-hearted charity towards his fellow men, in his love of poverty and lowliness and in his untiring energy and apostolic zeal. This latter virtue was perhaps most striking in as he went about the task of rebuilding a diocese utterly in ruins. Disaster struck once more in 1850 as a terrible earthquake wreaked havoc on Chios, and destroyed much of his building work. Assisted by Divine Providence, however, he was able to build the magnificent Cathedral of St Nicholas, several chapels, a school and a dispensary. He encouraged vocations and invited French teaching sisters to his diocese. In all his trials he had recourse to Our Lady, and she it was who obtained for him the strength to persevere. He himself would relate how his efforts were furthered by miraculous intervention. At that most trying period, he wrote money was so scarce that I had no means of carrying on the building work. In my distress, I had recourse to Our Lady. One day I heard a knock at my door, and opening it, an unknown visitor entered and handed me a sealed packet, after which he instantly disappeared. I felt somewhat bewildered by the sudden apparition, but collecting myself, I opened the packet and found a picture of the Sacred Heart, with the inscription, Beati qui confidunt in Domino - Blessed are they who hope in the Lord, and 2760 pounds! The zealous prelate had devoted himself, from the very beginning of his episcopacy, to the work of ransoming young Greek girls who had been carried into slavery by the Turks. There was one family of three sisters who had been thus captured, but in spite of his enquiries, he had been unable to trace them. At length, after recommending their sad fate very earnestly to the protection of the Mother of God, he saw a Lady of dazzling beauty enter the church where he was praying. Coming up to Bishop Giustiniani, she said, Those three sisters whom you are so anxious about, are in a Turkish harem at Chesme, in Anatolia. She then gave him the name of their master and the particulars of their imprisonment, and vanished. A week later the good Bishop's messengers arrived at the place specified, on the very day when the Turkish master of the young girls had died quite suddenly, thus making their ransom a very easy matter. Truly, the hope of a Child of Mary will never be confounded.
[Fr J. Keller - Maria Sanctissima ; Fr L.-E. Louvet - Les Missions Catholiques au 19ième Siècle]
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