Diamonds on the Bosphorus
By Aliki Kafetzopoulou
Published by St Herman Press, 2011.
‘Diamonds on the Bosphorus’ is an historical novel incorporating both fictional and non-fictional characters. The story is set in Constantinople, 400 AD, when Empress Eudoxia was persecuting St John Chrysostom. In the story, there are two followers of St John, Juliana and Nicephorus, aged around 16. They live a simple life practicing the teachings of St John. However towards the end of the novel, there is a big-twist in the storyline, which has a huge impact on their lives, displaying their great love for God.
Much inspiration can be taken from this novel, such as the many virtues of the young Nicephorus. He faced many hardships but always tried to abide by Jesus’ words: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Mat 6:26). In the hardest and easiest times of our life, we too should turn to God, as He will protect and provide for us. The novel provides the analogy of clouds that cover the stars, rendering then unable to be seen. The meaning to be taken is that through hard times, these clouds represent our sins, which cover our view of God. In these times, we should have hope and faith, then slowly through Confession, prayer, and Holy Communion, the clouds will be removed.
This novel is a beautiful story of triumph of the Christian spirit, and is highly recommended for young and old alike.
Source: April– May 2014 Lychnos Edition