Lodge “Axion Esti” in Taranto has recently been welcome as a new member Lodge of the Grand Liberal Lodge of Italy. Lodge “Axion Esti” has been registered with no. 29 in the list of the Lodges under the jurisdiction of the G.L.L.I.
The Axion Esti (He Is Worthy) is a Greek Orthodox hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary “Theotokos”, mother of God, who presents the savior to the world and indicates him as worthy. In 1959 the Greek poet and Nobel laureate Odysseas Elytis published a book of poems entitled Axion Esti, in which the poet, through images and liturgical structures typical of the orthodox tradition, outlined the eternal struggle of man torn between good and evil, both in the outside world and in his own soul. It will soon become the manifesto of a generation of Greeks who will find in the family images painted by Elytis and in the religious forms of his poems, a renewed love and respect for their homeland. In 1963 Mikis Theodorakis, the greatest modern Greek composer, transformed the book of Elytis into a hugely successful musical work.
The Axion Esti is a journey of man in search of self-awareness and of his role in the world that generated and shaped him. Love and reverence for one’s roots and one’s responsibility in the face of adversity are inextricably linked to self-awareness. Our land tells us who we are, and with this knowledge we can grow, understand, and finally defeat the darkness of the night. In the first part, “The Genesis” introduces the awareness of man and the spirit of Greece itself. In the second part «The Passion», night falls and evil arrives, and the theme becomes the relationship of conscience with tradition, with danger and with the way to overcome it. Finally in the third part «La Gloria», the pain of passion becomes the perfect perspective from which to admire the beauty and the light of life rediscovered.
Reading the Axion Esti leads to the sublimation of strong and often dormant feelings, first of all that of a sort of inspiration or “divine” call to be the best version of oneself, through the rediscovery of one’s personal and cultural identity, in order to face evil and finally be free. The Greek spirit is strong, rooted and evident on the shores of the Ionian, a unique spirit that over the millennia has been able to embody important and fundamental values such as the cult of freedom and its most varied expressions and the search for knowledge, fundamental in the formation of our culture. If Axion Esti was the gospel for people seeking hope, a calling and the strength to defend their homeland, then it fits perfectly into a context of free men seeking awareness and children of an ancient land, in search of salvation.
Psalm XII of the Axion Esti contains the essence of what we could define as the mission of this Lodge. A first mission of awareness and personal growth, perfectly described in the image of the sleepless man, a man in difficulty looking for a sign and for the awareness that will free him from indecision and fear. Viscerally linked to the love for tradition, the roots and the spirit of one’s own people, for which one must fight. If then symbolically a dolphin brings the inspiration and it is a trident to shake the heart and fill it with awareness, (both depicted on the cover of the book by Elytis), it is easy to the citizens of Taranto to fill themselves with that “divine” inspiration that calls us to know ourselves, to remember, grow and strengthen ourselves, in order to become an instrument for changing the world.