Friday, July 19, 2019

Greek Pop Singer and Eurovision Contestant Baptized Orthodox

Josephine Wendel, better known as simply Josephine, is a Greek pop singer. She is mostly known for her participation in the Greek national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the song "Dancing Night" where she got the 4th place.

Wendel was born on 22 August 1990 in Athens. Her mother is the Greek singer Margarita Venti, who is of Lebanese origin, and her father is German. She spent the first years of her life in the United States. Later, she moved for a while to Germany and then returned to Greece with her family. When she settled in Greece, she went to American-Greek School. While studying Marketing-Management at Deree College, she would upload on Facebook cover songs of famous artists, which helped her be discovered in 2013.

In June of 2018 she revealed in an interview that six months prior, at the age of 25, she was baptized Orthodox Christian. She said: "I was baptized six months ago and no one knew. I was unbaptized. My parents wanted me to decide on my own religion. I felt ready and my grandmother had me baptized. It was a very beautiful experience because I felt like a new person." She went on to reveal that Vasili, her boyfriend, was at her baptism, who encouraged her and saw it as a step towards a possible future marriage, since they could not be married unless she was baptized anyway; his mother, her grandmother, and her sister were also there. She also said that her priest taught her to forgive others, which was difficult for her beforehand, because she had a big ego.

It wasn't until a year later, in June of 2019, that she revealed the real reason that led her on the path towards baptism. There she revealed: "I used to attend international school, where I'm sure there were many kids from various religious backgrounds. I'm not sure if I was occupied by this issue when I was young, but I do remember in the summer when I would go down to Crete and everyone would say, 'We are going to church to receive communion.' When the priest found out I wasn't baptized, he said that I couldn't commune, so this made me ask myself, 'Why can't I commune?'"

Having now been baptized, she has a new outlook on life. "The times have changed. People don't believe. But I had to believe in something to receive strength. From the day I was baptized I feel my whole mentality has changed. My fears have left me and I became calm," Josephine confesses. "I was fearful and would get panic attacks before going out for performances. I had insecurities. I always thought something bad would happen. This all changed. I have also been helped a lot by psychotherapy which I have done for many years."

Below is the video where she made her revelation that she was secretly baptized six months prior, and below that is a video with her grandmother who helped her get baptized: