Saint Daniel

Daniel was a Jew born 620-538 BC. He was taken captive to Babylon in 605 BC. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, like the other rulers of that time, fought in the name of the gods.

The ruler who succeeded in conquering another country, as the intermediary of his patron god, who was fighting for supremacy over other gods, first confiscated that from the treasuries, which was most sacred to the defeated people. This holiest he placed in his treasury, as proof of the supremacy of their gods over the vanquished. Their god was better and stronger. The real one! He not only looted the most valuable objects, gold, jewels and other material goods, he also looted what was most valuable among people. Young men who were the flower of the intelligentsia of the time and the chosen ones who were destined for the highest tasks in the country.

Daniel was also of noble birth. From the bloodline of King David. He was raised as a serious, responsible and deeply religious young man. In character, he was calm and gracious. His heart was full of love. Love for his ancestors, country and God. But when it came to life’s principles and faith, he was steadfast, unyielding and firmly determined. His trust in the Creator was so sincere and pure that he was not even afraid of death. He was taken from his native Israel to Babylon at the tender age of about 16.

He was respectful of everything that did not conflict with his loyalty to God. In addition to God’s law, he also followed the earthly law dictated to him by the authorities. Knowing that earthly rulers are subject to God’s law. He knew how to resist the temptation of the rich and depraved world. He resisted nothing but sin.

Daniel, with his firm principles and unwavering faith in God, could not accept the licentious and godless life of the Babylonians. He was commanded by the law to obey what King Nebuchadnezzar commanded. He was offered the best “university” of the time, the most luxurious life and royal food, but he was not tempted by the glitter and hedonism of the physical. He did not renounce his God. He did not succumb to the temptation of food, which was the best that Babylon had, but intended primarily for sacrifice to the Babylonian gods.

Daniel rebelled and risked his own life. But he knew that God would watch over him and guide him through the difficult situation. Why was food so important to Daniel? What if Daniel and his companions had compromised with the heathen officers and yielded to the pressure, eating and drinking as was customary for Babylon’s chosen ones?

This is hard for us to understand. We consume food out of need, emotion and hedonism. Food has no deeper sacred meaning for us. It is something that satiates us, that satisfies our needs, desires and pleasures. Food to us are just nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats…

For Daniel, food had a deeper meaning. It was not just an emotional and hedonistic drug, but confirmed faith in God. It was consecrated, holy and appreciated. Daniel did not subordinate his dietary principles to the loose principles of the pagan Babylonians. Feeding, fasting and prayer were given equal weight. A triangle where all angles were part of the same figure.

For ten days, Daniel and his men ate food prepared exclusively from plant foods. While the king’s men ate the king’s food: meat, wine, and other food that had been sacrificed to the Babylonian gods and was defiled to Daniel. After ten days, Daniel’s men looked healthier and more nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. The king decided to prescribe to the young men the food that Daniel and his associates were consuming.

We didn’t choose to pretend how smart and important we are. How we discovered something new. That we have a new story that will inspire. Something to beat your chest and build your ego with. No. The only thing we were and still are interested in is a deeper understanding of Daniel. Understanding the time in which he lived. Understanding pagan Babylon and learning the Truth that Daniel fully trusted. The more we got to know him, the more he was and will be a role model for us. An example of steadfastness in faith. In distrusting and at the same time not judging everything that the human mind produces. The latter is always sinful when it deviates from humble obedience to the Truth and listens to the egoism of its own importance, which usually grows to the point where it wants to occupy a throne that is not meant for it.

We recommend that you read the book of Daniel: BOOK OF DANIEL