We want to share with you a very important event that happened 555 years ago that Europe "forgets" to mention.

If you dig into various online articles it is said that Skanderbeg went to Rome in the years 1466-1467 but not much is said about why he went there.

On December 12, Skanderbeg went to Rome to seek financial help from Pope Paul II and King Ferdinand of Naples. They both owed him a lot. The king of Naples owed his life, which Skanderbeg had saved in the past, while the Pope and the whole Christian world owed him the continuation of their existence, their religion, their traditions, their history. The Ottoman Empire had no interest in Albanian lands, it wanted them only to enable the passage to the western world.

Sultan Mehmeti II, after suffering some deep losses in Albania, and settled in the present city of Elbasan built the castle that you see today. From there he sent successive attacks that impoverished the Albanian population.

"Mr. Skanderbeg came here on Friday, December 12, and the families of the cardinals were sent to meet him. He is a very old man, over sixty. He came with a few little horses and as a poor man. I hear and believe he has come to seek support. "- written in a letter by J. P. Arrivabene.

From both sides Skanderbeg received very little help, considering what war the Albanians would have to wage. His friend, King Ferdinand, who was preparing to fight against the Holy See and for whom he called for an alliance with the sultan, wrote a letter apologizing to him that he could do no more.

In a very touching legend that Eqrem Bey Vlora brings in his stories, which still lives on today the Albanians of Italy and which is taken from a manuscript preserved in the monastery of Mezzo Juso in Sicily, it is said that:

Long-awaited on the occasion of his departure, the pope presented Skanderbeg with a relic of the Holy Cross which is not too indulgent to consider the article Mortis. Skanderbeg thanked and said: "I am taking the relic because I foresee that I would soon go down to the grave. Alone in front of all those enemies, I can only die. As for the money, I am leaving it to you, provided you distribute it to the poor and they pray for the victory of my weapons. 

"If I lose, it will only happen by the power of the strongest. If I win, all the gold and silver of Rome would not be enough to proclaim the glory of this victory."

A month later, Skanderbeg passed.

History teaches us a lot. Above all, it teaches us that no one could love the well-being of the land and our people more than we Albanians can.

Alban Selami