'A Century Ago It Was Hard to Believe in the Future of the Armenian People'

Supreme Patriarch Karekin II Releases Encyclical on the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

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“A century ago, it was hard to believe in the future of the Armenian people … Nevertheless, a new dawn came. By the grace of the Lord, our people rose up from death.”

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, made this reflection in a Pontifical encyclical released yesterday and addressed to all Armenians as well as to the Armenian patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople, archbishops, bishops, priests and deacons, and dioceses, according to www.armenianchurch.org.

«The centennial of the Armenian Genocide is before us and our souls resound with a powerful call for justice and truth that will not be silenced,» Patriarch Karekin II stressed.

«In 1915, and for years following,» he said, “Ottoman Turkey committed genocide against our people. In Western Armenia – on our native soil – in the Armenian homeland and in Armenian communities throughout Turkey, one and one half million sons and daughters of our nation were subjected to slaughter, famine and disease, as they were deported and forced to march to their deaths” he explained.

The history of his people for the last century, the Catholicos noted, has been one of «adversity» and «resurrection.»

While saying, “The blood of our innocent martyrs and the suffering of our people cry out for justice,” he added: “Today, hardships notwithstanding, our nation strengthens its independent statehood, creates its new life of freedom, and looks hopefully to the future, embracing national reawakening, optimism and faith.”

To the Armenian people, he urged, «live boldly,» «advance surely,» and, «with an unwavering heart, keep your hope great.»

“Let us transform the remembrance of our martyrs into energy and strength in our spiritual and national life, and,» he continued, «before God and all people, illuminate the path by our righteous course to guide our way toward the realization of justice and our sacred aspirations.”

Concluding his message, Patriarch Karekin II announced that on April 23rd, during the Divine Liturgy, “Our Holy Church will offer a special service canonizing its sons and daughters who accepted martyrdom as saints ‘for faith and for Homeland.’ He will also proclaim April 24th as a day of remembrance for the ‘Holy Martyrs of the Genocide’.


On the NET:

Full Letter: http://www.armenianchurch.org/index.jsp?sid=3&nid=2784&y=2014&m=11&d=28&lng=en

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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