(EMF – By Mulugeta) On December 12, yesterday, at the crack of dawn when the bell of St. Bhata Mariam Monstary first struck, the 100- year death commemoration of Emperor Menelik and the annual celebration of St. Batta Mariam Monastery coincided to herald an event through out Addis Ababa.
The dual celebration was attended by a sea of people gathered from the four corners of the city.
His Holiness Abuna Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopia Orthodox Church led the ceremony inside the church, where the body of Menelik was laid, beginning from midnight to 9 a.m.
After this, a procession guided by his Holiness moved three times around the church, and stood in front of the main door of the church.
Tall deacons stood holding the procession crosses, and shading with large decorated umbrellas the Holy Tabots (Arks), the Patriarch, Archbishops, and Bishops. Behind them two Giant pictures of St. Mariam, and Emperor Menelik were displayed side by side to demonstrate the mood of the gathering.
The ceremony continued with several hymns, speeches, poems, praising St. Mariam and Emperor Menelik II, for his contribution to his Ethiopia, Africa, and the world at large.
Through out the ceremony, he was remembered as Emeye Menelik( meaning dear mother, to express his generosity and kindness to the nation, which is comparable to that of a dear mother)
He is also remembered as the Lion of Adwa, which inspired the Black people in Africa and elsewhere to rise up for their freedom and to turn a new page into Pan-Africanism.
Moreover, he is also remembered as the great innovator, the unifier, and protector of Greater Ethiopia, as the first and only African nation that stood with out the intervention of European powers.
It was unfortunate that the government did not observe the 100-years commemoration of Emperor Menelik II, as a national event. However, this did not detract from the Grandness of the occasion. The peoples’ belief in Menelik is deep-rooted and embodied in their minds.
Emperor Menelik II’s legacy lives on!