Pope´s Prayer at Tzitzernakaberd Memorial

YEREVAN, Armenia, SEPT. 26, 2001 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II pronounced this prayer today at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial built for the Armenian victims of the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire.

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O Judge of the living and the dead, have mercy on us!
Listen, O Lord, to the lament that rises from this place,
to the call of the dead from the depths of the Metz Yeghérn,
the cry of innocent blood that pleads like the blood of Abel,
like Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more.
Listen, Lord, to the voice of the Bishop of Rome,
echoing the plea of his Predecessor Pope Benedict XV,
when in 1915 he raised his voice in defence of
«the sorely afflicted Armenian people
brought to the brink of annihilation».

Look upon the people of this land
who put their trust in you so long ago,
who have passed through the great tribulation
and never failed in their faithfulness to you.
Wipe away every tear from their eyes
and grant that their agony in the twentieth century
will yield a harvest of life that endures for ever.

We are appalled by the terrible violence done to the Armenian people,
and dismayed that the world still knows such inhumanity.

But renewing our hope in your promise, we implore, O Lord,
rest for the dead in the peace which knows no end,
and the healing of still open wounds through the power of your love.
Our soul is longing for you, Lord, more than the watchman for daybreak,
as we wait for the fullness of redemption won on the Cross,
for the light of Easter which is the dawn of invincible life,
for the glory of the new Jerusalem where death shall be no more.
O Judge of the living and the dead, have mercy on us all!

[Original text: English; distributed by Vatican Press Office]

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