Armenian Orthodox Church of Lebanon – September – October 2016
The current press release is a summary of the message His Holiness Aram I delivered at the St Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral during the Special Prayer Service celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia, on 20 September 2016.
22 September 2016. After greeting with brotherly love the Presidents of Armenia and Karabagh, His Holiness Karekin II of All Armenians, the Armenian population in Armenia, Karabagh and all around the world, His Holiness said,
“To forge our future we must not forget the past, particularly our recent history, which is full of both dark and bright pages.
100 years ago, the genocidaires tried to exterminate our people. Today our people have flourished in Armenia, Karabagh and the diaspora. They have been inventive and productive, and they demand the restoration of their just rights.
100 years ago the genocidaires tried to eliminate Armenia from the map of the world. Because of the battle of Sardarabad and the defence of the homeland, Armenia is independent and is a contributing member to the community of nations. Therefore, Armenians can proudly repeat the words of the poet and remind the world that ‘we exist, we shall remain and we shall multiply’.”
The Catholicos then continued, “To remain strong as a people means we need a strong Armenia. We must pray in the words of the psalmist, ‘Show me the right path O Lord’ (Psalm 16:11) for the flourishing of our nation in Armenia, Karabagh and the Diaspora.
Armenia, our nation, is the house of every Armenian. Historically, on several occasions it was occupied and destroyed, but today, we own it; it is independent and our task is to safeguard it. Our nation/house, which is a legacy from our ancestors, is threatened; it is being buffeted by strong winds and threatened by powerful waves. We cannot be indifferent to its plight; we must not betray and desert it through emigration.
We are called to fortify its foundations ‘like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built’ (Luke 6:48).
This house, this Armenia, was forged through the prayers and martyrdom of our ancestors. We should gather around it and, despite its defects, love and strengthen it by mobilizing our resources. We can strengthen our beloved Armenia, make it flourish, and safeguard its independence by listening to the pain of its people, by responding to their needs and by involving the Diaspora in strengthening its political structures.
We can shield this house from visible and invisible threats if we uphold our moral, spiritual and national values and make the common good the priority above all individual considerations and gains; but, this will only happen when Armenia, Karabagh and the Diaspora work together in harmony as an indivisible whole.
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Armenia is an occasion for great joy and a source of rightfully earned pride. It is also a call for introspection and self-assessment. It is a forward-looking message leading to a stronger Armenia based on a common vision.
The challenge remains to internalize this 25th Anniversary call and express it through our actions.
God Bless our people,
God Bless our House. “
CATHOLICOS OF CILICIA