On the morning of April 24, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, visited the National Memorial to the Armenian Genocide, located on Tsitsernakaberd Hill in Yerevan. His Holiness was accompanied by members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin.
At the memorial, His Holiness Karekin II and His Excellency Serzh Sargsian, President of the Republic of Armenia, placed floral wreaths before the eternal flame of the monument. His Holiness presided during a Requiem service dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million innocent victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.
Also present for the ceremony were high-ranking goverment officials, members of the National Assembly, Armenian Church benefactors from the Diaspora and other dignitaries.
The same day, a solemn Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Mother Cathedral of of Holy Etchmiadzin by His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatrian, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. His Grace delivered a message in remembrance of this crime against humanity.
“Remembrance is one of the truly essential factors that differentiates mankind from the other creatures of God. We relive the difficult and tragic fate of the victims of the Genocide, remembering all of their sufferings. Today we reflect on the history with deep sorrow, but as Christians we know how to separate sin from the sinner. We do not feel hatred towards the sinner, but we condemn the sin, and we condemn the Genocide. There is no animosity in our souls because we are filled with optimism that one day those accountable will accept their sins and separate themselves from their own misdeeds”, His Grace stated in part.
Following the Liturgy, a procession of clergy escorted the Catholicos to the Memorial of the Armenian Genocide located on the grounds of the Mother See, north of the Mother Cathedral. Standing near the monument of Khatchkars (Stone-crosses), His Holiness presided during a special Repose of Souls service. Also in attendance during the services was His Excellency Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Vatican Nuncio to the Southern Caucasus.