The former Romanian football player Mihai Neșu held a teleconference call about success from a Christian perspective with the over 1,400 young people who gathered in Iași at the end of August for a local Youth Meeting.
The former FC Utrecht defender stressed that Orthodoxy is ‘the perfect map to succeed in life,’ adding that youth can find the key to success in the church doctrine, the teachings of the Holy Fathers and of the spiritual directors.
During the call, Nesu was asked what called him to Orthodoxy. ‘The restlessness of my soul,’ he answered.
‘I thought there had to be something more than the things I had when I was playing football: money, cars, etc. (…) After losing them all, I thought it had to be something more,’ added the former sportsman.
Nesu recalled that he went to various monasteries and talked with people of various religions and confessions and concluded that Orthodoxy is the only faith that has remained unchanged for 2000 years. ‘It is the perfect map to succeed in life.’
During the twenty minutes teleconference, Mihai Nesu recounted the moment he was in Arizona to meet Elder Ephraim of Philotheou. He didn’t manage to meet him, but another monk from St Anthony’s monastery was a real revelation to him.
‘I said, “Father, I’m looking for a recipe to solve all my problems.” And he told me so beautifully, “Yes. Well done. We give you recipes, but you have to start cooking.” Then I realized that I had a long recipe through so many teachings that the Orthodox faith has, which is like a perfect map helping us to guide ourselves in this life.’
‘There is not in another faith a more perfect map. All the others are slightly distorted,’ Mihai Nesu said.
I am happier than before the accident
Mihai Nesu recalled the challenges that followed after his car accident and explained how all proved to be a blessing to him.
‘I couldn’t do anything about my suffering,’ the former footballer confessed modestly, referring to his accident in May 2011.
“But God, over time, after about 3-4 years like this, changed my nature and the things around me a little. I started to meet people, to make more friends that are useful to me every day and who now form the team of the Mihai Neșu Foundation, which does extraordinary things for children with disabilities.”
“From my suffering God has done something very good, but without much participation from me. My only wish was to find what was useful to my soul. I allowed God to work as He knows best, and here He managed to turn this suffering into a wonderful thing.”
“My life has transformed from something that could mean what some people say, tragedy or curse, into a blessed life. I can say that I am happier now than before the accident.”
Let us all meet in heaven!
The young people cheered the former sportsman and burst into applause at the end of the teleconference, chanting his name as they would have done in a football stadium.
Visibly moved, Mihai Nesu told the ITOM participants that he is glad to see so many young people ‘on the good path, close to the Church.’
‘May we all go there where God wants us to be, to holiness, and may we meet each other in heaven,’ Mihai Nesu said.
Photography courtesy of Media ITOM 2019