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Pope Sends Video Message to Armenia: Tsdesutiun! See You Soon!

“Let us not allow painful memories to take possession of our heart, even in the face of evil’s repeated assaults; let us not surrender”

Here is a ZENIT translation of the text of a video message from Pope Francis to Armenians, in the lead-up to his visit to their country, which begins Friday.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In a few days I will have the joy of being among you, in Armenia. Already now I invite you to pray for this Apostolic Journey. I come among you with God’s help to carry out, as the motto of the journey says, a “visit to the first Christian country.” I come as a pilgrim, in this Jubilee Year, to draw from the ancient wisdom of your people and to drink deeply from the sources of your faith, rocky as your famous crosses sculptured in stone.

I come to the mystical heights of Armenia as your brother, animated by the desire to see your faces, to pray together with you and to share the gift of friendship. Your history and the events of your beloved people arouse admiration and sorrow in me: admiration because you found in Jesus’ cross and in your genius the strength to always rise again, also from sufferings that are among the most terrible that humanity remembers; sorrow because of the tragedies that your fathers lived in their flesh. Let us not allow painful memories to take possession of our heart, even in the face of evil’s repeated assaults; let us not surrender. Let us do, rather, as Noah did, who after the flood did not tire of looking at the sky and of releasing the dove many times, until once it returned to him carrying a tender olive leaf (Genesis 8:11): it was the sign that life could be taken up again and hope could rise again.

I wish to come to you as servant of the Gospel and messenger of peace, to support your every effort on the way of peace and to share our steps on the path of reconciliation, which generates hope.

May the great Saints of your people, especially the Doctor of the Church Gregory of Narek, bless our meetings, which I await with earnest desire. In particular, I await to embrace again my Brother Karekin and, together with him, to give a renewed impetus to our path towards full unity. Last year, you came from several countries to Rome, and we prayed together at Saint Peter’s tomb. Now I come to your blessed land to reinforce our communion, to advance on the way of reconciliation and to allow ourselves to be animated by hope.

Thank you and see you soon! Tsdesutiun! [we will see each other soon]

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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