Nichifor Crainic – the greatest Romanian Christian poet

He is the greatest Romanian Christian poet and one of the greatest Christian poets in the world. He was a university professor, a scholar and a journalist. His poetic work is complemented by his essayistic and mystical works. His university lectures lifted his listeners to heaven.

Nichifor Crainic is the representative of traditionalism and Byzantine orientation. The Byzantine affiliation as a spiritual characteristic of the Romanian nation is structural and nobody can deny it.

Neither the orientation towards French culture, nor the inclination towards German or Russian culture can match the strength with which our spiritual substance feels Orthodox-Byzantine. Nichifor Crainic supported this aspect in all his work and contributed to the rehabilitation of Byzantium, so unjustly maligned in the West after the French Revolution. He was also a staunch Orthodox and an opponent of Catholicism.

Nichifor Crainic was imprisoned for a long time for his ideas, during which time he wrote many poems in remembrance. They ended up abroad, where they circulated illegally. We hope that one day they will see the light of print.

In prison, the poet spent hours on his knees in prayer. Yet this man of remarkable sensitivity was doubled by an unbridled sensibility. Out of respect for his work and the suffering he endured, we will not speak of his human weaknesses. He made regrettable compromises of conscience, but his work remains pure and authentically orthodox. He died a loner because he was still ostracised.

Forgetting the man’s faults, we are left with the image of the Christian poet and thinker who will impress whenever and wherever he is read. Today his work is hushed up, but one day he will have a place of honour in culture.

(John Ianolide – Return to Christ. Document for a New World, Bonifaciu Publishing House, Bucharest, 2012, pp. 305-306)

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