The ELCA alone commemorates Dag Hammarskjold, recognizing him on this day as a renewer of society. Born in Sweden, the son of the Swedish prime minister, he was secretary-general of the United Nations. He died in a plane crash in Africa in 1961. After his death Hammarskjold’s diary was discovered in his New York apartment. Following its publication in Swedish, the journal was translated into English with the help of his old friend, the British poet W. H. Auden. Published in English under the name, Markings, the book records the depth of the diplomat’s spiritual seriousness and struggles, and the generous shape of his Christian faith. John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjold the greatest diplomat of the twentieth century. A new edition of Markings was published a few years ago with a preface by Jimmy Carter.
from Markings by Dag Hammarskjold:
Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.
Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
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