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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Saint Barlaam tells us that in a Greek city they had the strange habit of electing a king every year, and moreover, a foreigner who knew nothing of their habits and customs. These people thought they would be happier with this annual change. The kings on their side began their reign in the pleasures, but at the end of the year the people seized them and made them throw them on a deserted island where they found no food and perished miserably. But once the chosen one was more prudent than his predecessors. He gave generously to some of his subjects and learned from them the fate that was reserved for him. So he sent food, weapons and boats to this desert island during the year. When the year was over, he was treated like his predecessors, they seized him and deported him to the island. As he found all that he had sent there, he re–embarked with the soldiers, returned to the capital, chastised those who had laid hands on him, and then ruled the city without question for many years.
– These unfortunate kings who died every year after one year of reign, are the image of those who think only of their pleasure and earthly goods. Death, by surprising them, makes them eternally unhappy. The prudent king, on the contrary, is the image of those who during their life care about religion and send before them meritorious works for salvation. When death comes, the devil is powerless against them, and they are eternally happy.