Martyred But Not Conquered: A View on Armenia

Father Findikyan Is Dean of a New York Seminary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

ROME, SEPT. 26, 2001 (ZENIT.orgAvvenire).- Father Daniel Findikyan hopes the world never forgets that Armenians were the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Father Findikyan, dean of New York´s Armenian Seminary, acknowledges that the genocide is, in fact, often overlooked. But he hopes that will change, so that history doesn´t repeat itself.

According to Father Findikyan, the 1915 genocide of Armenians by Turks is no longer regarded as a tragedy in the collective memory, but as the «martyrdom of a people,» the «people of the Cross,» he said.

Father Findikyan, 39, a professor of liturgy, was born and educated in the United States. Although he cannot speak his parents´ language, he does not forget what the Armenian nation has endured.

Speaking at a congress in Italy on Armenia´s religious history, shortly before the papal visit, Father Findikyan explained the mystery of the fidelity of the Armenian Church to the Gospel during 1,700 years of occupations, resistance, massacres and forced migrations.

To be an Armenian is to «belong to a history, a culture, a faith: the writings of the Armenian Fathers, our liturgy, spirituality, theology, memory of persecutions,» the priest said.

«In our history, in our sufferings, we see the love of God incarnated in our people,» he added. «As a people, we live the mystery of the Cross, of suffering, of resurrection, of a God who does not abandon us.»

The Armenian people did not even see defeat in the holocaust. «We believe that, after death, there is resurrection,» Father Findikyan emphasized. «The martyr is a victim, but not someone who is conquered: He is a hero of the people and the Church.

«In our sufferings, we discover that life is only in Christ, and that God never leaves us and suffers with us. In this mystery, difficult to understand intellectually, but which theological reflection studies increasingly, history is transfigured and calls us to commemorate.»

The faithful Armenian is not moved to «call for vengeance» but to «pray, so that what happened will never happen again, either to our own or other peoples,» the priest concluded. «When we forget, history repeats itself.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation