Amerika

The Legion Of Michael The Archangel (Corneliu Codreanu)

Faced by the situation mentioned above, I decided to go with neither side, not meaning to resign myself, but to organize theyouth, assuming this responsibility according to my soul and brains and to continue the fight, not to capitulate. In the midst of these troubles and times at the crossroads I remembered the icon that protected us in the Vacaresti prison.
We decided to close our ranks and to pursue the fight under the protection of the same sacred icon. With this in mind, we brought it to our Home in Iasi from the altar of the St. Spiridon Church where it had been placed three years previously.
The Vacaresti group agreed immediately to my plans. Several days later I convoked in Iasi in my room on 20 Florilor St. for Friday, June 24, 1927, the Vacaresti group and the few students still with us.
Several minutes before the meeting was to begin I entered in a register the following order of the day.
“Today, Friday, June 24th, 1927 (The feast of St. John the Baptist), at 10 o’clock in the evening, is founded under my leadership, ‘Tbe Legion of Micbael ttw Arcbangel.’ Let anyone who believes without reservation, join our ranks. Let him who has doubts remain on the sidelines. I hereby nominate Radu Mironovici as leader of the guard of the icon.” Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
This first meeting lasted one minute, only long enough for me to read the above order. After this, those present left in order to ponder whether they felt sufficiently determined and courageous to join an organization like this, without a program other than the example of my life as a patriot up to then and that of my prison comrades.
Even to the Vacaresti group I had given time for reflection and search of their conscience for them to be sure whether they had any doubts or reservations, because once enrolled they had to unhesitatingly keep on going for the rest of their lives.
Our intimate feelings from which the Legion was born were these: It did not interest us whether we would triumph or be conquered, or whether we would die. Our purpose was different: to advance united. Moving forward in a united front, with the help of God and the Romanian people’s justice, no matter what destiny awaited us-that of being vanquished or that of death-it would be a blessed one and it would bear fruit for our people. Professor Nicolae Iorga once said: “There are defeats and deaths which can awaken a nation to life, just as there are triumphs of the kind which can put a nation to sleep.”
During the same night, and entered into the same register, we edited a letter to Professor Cuza and one to Professor Sumuleanu. At 10 o’clock the next morning all the Vacarestians got together and went to the house of Professor Cuza, 3 Codrescu St. After so many years of battles and difficult trials we were now going to see him to take our farewell, and to ask him to release us from the vows we took.
Professor Cuza received us in the same room in which he had stood for me 28 years earlier at my baptism. He was standing behind his desk; we in front. I read him the following letter:
“Sir, we are coming to you for the last time to say goodbye and to ask you to release us from all the vows we took. We can no longer follow you on the road you have taken for we no longer believe in it. To march by your side without faith is impossible, because it was faith that nourished our enthusiasm in battle. Begging you to release us from our vows we remain to fight alone in the best way our brains and hearts can guide us.”
Professor Cuza then spoke to us in the following manner:
“My dear friends, I release you from your vows and advise you that, stepping into life on your own, do not make mistakes. Because, particularly in politics, mistakes are very costly. You have as an example the political errors of Petre Carp which had fatal consequences for him. On my part I wish you the best in life.”
Then he shook hands with all of us and we left. We thought that it was correct on our part to proceed thus and that this was the honorable way our dignity as fighters obliged us to take.
From there we went to Professor Sumuleanu on Saulescu St., reading to him the other letter written approximately in the same terms, in which we informed him and his “Statutories” that we could not go along with them either and that we would carve for ourselves from now on our own path.
Leaving him we felt in our hearts how very much alone we were, alone as in a desert, and we were going to build our road in life through our own powers.
We gathered even closer to the icon. The more difficulties that might assail us and the more our compatriots’ blows might be showered heavily on our heads, the more we would seek the protection of St. Michael the Archangel and the shadow of his sword. He was no longer for us an image on an icon, but very much alive. There at the icon, we took turns keeping watch, night and day, a candle burning.

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