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Victims of Genocide to Be Proclaimed Saints by Armenian Apostolic Church

Leaders of Oriental Churches Expected to Attend April Canonization

The Armenian Apostolic Church will recognize the sanctity of the victims of the Armenian Genocide on April 23 at the Patriarchal See of the Catholicosate in Echmiadzin through a solemn liturgy and canonization.

According to Fides, the canonization will be attended by heads of sister Oriental Churches and delegations of other Churches. The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. and end at 7:15 p.m. (19:15), to symbolize the Armenian Genocide in 1915.

During the liturgy, the Psalm “Martyrs of April”, composed by the late Bishop Zareh Aznavourian, will be used as the psalm for the canonization.

“The Armenian Church,” said Patriarch Karekin in a statement sent to Fides, “does not sanctify. It recognizes the sanctity of saints or of those people that is already common among people or has been shown with evidence.”

“The Church recognizes only what happened, that is, the genocide,” he stated.

In September 2013, the Armenian Apostolic Church decided to recognize the victims of the genocide as saints during a meeting at the patriarchal seat in Echmiadzin.

For the first time after six centuries, all the Armenian apostolic bishops participated in the meeting, both those which refer directly to the Catholicosate of Echmiadzin, and those related to Catholicosate of the great House of Cilicia, which is governed by Catholicos Aram I based in Lebanon.

The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, refers to the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of some 1.5 million Armenian subjects in 1915 from the territory which constitutes present-day Turkey. To this day, Turkey denies the genocide.

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On the NET:

Armenian Genocide Official Site: http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

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