On Sunday 16 March 2014, after the Holy Liturgy, Catholicos Aram I inaugurated the 35thBook Fair entitled “Source of Spiritual and Intellectual Enrichment.”
In his message, His Holiness stated that although the current innovations in communication and the Internet are providing quick information and knowledge, the Armenian book is the powerful repository of Armenian spiritual growth and identity. Because they go deeply, books are necessary, he explained, to communicate the Christian understanding that the body, the mind and the spirit are inseparable and that this comprehensive understanding of the human being reveals to us that the mind and the spirit, the presence of God and the Image of God are embedded within each person. He then quoted the Bible where Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that comes forth from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
The Catholicos then continued, “Historically our people have been nurtured and inspired by the Bible and the printed reflections, the spiritual hymns, the prayers and the meditations of our Church fathers and the recorded heroic acts of our martyrs to defend their faith.” Today, His Holiness added, “The challenges of modern life are alienating us from the Armenian book; this reality, he said, is depriving us from our spiritual resources and even weakening our identity as a people.”
He then asked, “Is our government in Armenia empowering our teachers and intellectuals to reflect, write and publish and to keep pace with the modern world? Is the Church encouraging potential authors and enabling them to publish? Are the wealthy Armenians sustaining the Armenian publications?” Because, he concluded, “The Armenian book sustains our national existence, and it enriches our people’s lives through spiritual growth.”
The opening ceremony came to close with the Cilicia anthem sung by the seminary students.