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queen olga___1_evaggelio TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE

After the Greco-Turkish war of 1897, Queen Olga would visit hospitals to support the injured soldiers. It was then that she realized that most patients were completely ignorant of the contents of the Bible, extracts of which she used to encourage them.

The reason that most Greek people were unaware of the Bible's teachings, was because it was written in the archaic rather than in the vernacular. In 1898 she decided to translate the Holy Book. The translation was carried out by her private secretary, Ioulia Carolou and corrected by the Professor of Rizarios School Mr. Philip Papadopoulos.

When the translation was finished, Queen Olga sent it to the Archbishop of Athens, Prokopios who approved the publication. This move caused a stir up in the Holy Synod who considered that the publication of the Bible in a "folk and trivial" language will lead to the devaluation of the sacred texts. It was also feared that the colloquial texts would replace the original ones. Eventually it was decided to print the translation in 1000 copies entitled "Text and translation of the Holy Bible for "family use only", by virtue of HM the Queen of Hellenes Olga, issued in Athens 1900" by Sakellariou Publications, and was distributed free of charge. A number of these translations were distributed to the "Efiveion" and to the women's prisons.

At the same time the Acropolis newspaper published texts of the Bible in the "hairy language" as they called "slang" at the time (typical example is that the newspaper called the Last Supper "the hidden feast"). This move led to the Queen's, the Church's and the theological university students' reaction. In the following days violent clashes erupted between protesters and the State, which led to the government's resignation. This turbulent period is known as "The Evagelika" (Evagelio being the Bible)

Queen Olga ceased the publication of the Translation after a section of the public revolted and turned against her endeavors. Having stopped delivering the translation, Queen Olga sent her personal secretary every Saturday to "Evagelismos" Hospital in order to read the Bible and then to explain its content to the patients.

 "THE HELPING HAND" MAGAZINE

Knowing that she would be unable to continue the publication of the Bible's translation, Queen Olga proceeded to the publication of an eight-page monthly magazine, which she called "The Helping Hand". It mainly consisted of translated stories of English origin with religious content, and translated excerpts of the Old Testament. The magazine was distributed to the hospitalized patients and to prison inmates.

At the same time they collected subscriptions from affluent families, which were then prompted by the Queen to give the magazine to their domestic staff.

The first issue came out on March 1, 1908 and continued until March 1, 1917.

The subscription revenues covered the publication costs and any surplus was used for repaying patients' loans who were unable to work as well as debts of the prisoners.

The Queen used to jokingly say to her personal secretary: "through the magazine we supply them with doses of religious teaching."

After the assassination of King George I, the Queen received a request from his murderer Alexander Schinas to visit him. She responded via her secretary that she forgave him, but declined the meeting and sent him a Holy Icon, the Bible and copies of the magazine in order for him to repent and to return to the path of God.

PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Queen Olga loved children. At that time there were no books targeted to children to prepare them on growing up and on adopting right values and ideals. To "fill this gap", the Queen proceeded to issue children's books that were released as a collection of the magazine "The Helping Hand" and which were freely distributed to all municipalities and then forwarded to schools and orphanages. Honorable mention was made by the Queen to Mrs. Benaki who distributed children's books to institutions in Egypt.