Edizione quotidiana del Sabato 27 Febbrario 1999

Warm homage is paid to Regina Derieva, a Russian Catholic poetess,
in the presence of religious and civil dignitaries of the Holy City.

The Lord and my Church have not forsaken me.

   That which originally appeared as a disaster, and indeed was a real catastrophe for my family and I, has turned out to be a great joy, for the Lord and my Church have not forsaken me, so says Regina Derieva, one of the great Russian poets of our times. She spoke thus at her fiftieth birthday celebration held at the Institute of Sacred Music of the Custody of the Holy Land "The Magnificat". She presented two of her new works of poetry, works that have greatly inspired the composer, Father Armando Pierucci, O.F.M. The event was simple but full of atmosphere. Well attended by figures known in the Holy Land such as, His Grace, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Nuncio to Israel, Bishop Kamal-Hanna Bathish, the Vicar General to His Beatitude the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the directors of the various Holy Land Magazines, many friars, indeed many persons from religious, diplomatic and journalistic backgrounds.
    Regina came to Israel in October 1991 along with many other Russian immigrants. She was of Jewish origin however on her documents she truthfully declared herself to be Catholic and was thus deprived of her rights, which are accorded by the "Law of those returning". The same law was applied to her husband and son, and this sentence was confirmed by the High Court of Justice, despite the fact that during this time they had become stateless and so it was impossible for them to be repatriated or extradited by the Israeli government. They were left with a U.S.S.R passport, which had in fact expired, and indeed it was a passport of a state, which no longer existed, and as such the passport could not be revalidated or renewed.
   This is the situation in which Regina found herself as she describes it: a "disaster, catastrophe". They were poor, faced with an expulsion order, which has never been rescinded, no place to go, no work, no possibility of renting a home, because without any official documentation, or even the possibility of obtaining the same, all these things are rendered impossible. So they remained, authentic and inextricable but very worried people.
   Following the sentence passed by the Israeli High Court on 22nd November 1996, their situation became an "international case". They were written about both in many American and European mass media. However their case did not seem to touch the opinion overseas nor any of the Christian nations nor indeed the European council, who proclaim to defend human rights.
   Regina said that from her own experience she is able to repeat the same sentiments as St. Cyprian of Carthage: "For who is the Church not a mother, for those is God not a father! And thus to live within the church is to exist. It is only thanks to God and my Church that I am able to write and publish my books. Glory be to Thee Lord Jesus Christ."
   In words she is able to express that which has come to pass, to be unattached, open, and with modest help to live throughout the situation she finds herself in, all this has happened to this family, who quietly accept the situation as a true Catholic family, managing the serious difficulties they find themselves with. Yet small acts of charity from the poor church of Jerusalem helps them survive. This help comes from outside Jerusalem itself, from the Catholic Church at large.
   During this time, the Custody of the Holy Land became aware of the poetic works of Regina. Father Armando Pierucci a composer of great talent composed a splendid work called the "Via Crucis" with one of the homonymous poems written by Regina, (This work was performed in the cathedral of Vilnius and registered last spring as the L'Osservatore Romano noted and has referred to it).
   There have also been foreign benefactors from abroad, Catholic and Protestant alike, amongst which are Lieutenancy of the German Order of the Knights of the Holy sepulcher, and the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem. They have helped with modest contributions enabling Regina to publish her ultimate works, which are almost all of a religious nature, for example: The New Flowers of St. Francis and The Meaning of Mystery (essays which accompany icons), help so generously given to help Regina's publications up until these last two volumes which she prepared to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. There is also English version of "Inland Sea", with a preface by Tomas Venclova and "The Pilgrim Star" with the preface written by Father Grech, the general secretary to the conference of Latin bishops in the Arab regions. This last small volume also includes the musical compositions written by Father Armando Pierucci. This volume is prepared with a view to help the pilgrims who will come in great numbers to the Holy Land for the Jubilee, and thus has been translated into Italian and French. It has received the imprimatur from the Latin Patriarch.
   During the birthday celebration for Regina, the Apostolic Delegate, His Grace Pietro Sambi said how much he appreciated the richness of the Russian spirituality in Regina's works, splendidly researched here in the Holy land. He congratulated her on her collaboration with Father Armando Pierucci expressed so well by the words of St. Augustine: "Harmony in difference" and he concluded his speech with a tribute to the volume she has written for the coming pilgrims of the Jubilee.
 by Graziano Motta
(Extracts from the article were kindly translated from Italian by Fr. John Luke Gregory, O.F.M).


Le pi? belle foto del Papa


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