The summary of the pontifical message of His Holiness Aram I.

"Today the church celebrates the sacred memory of saints who in the
power of the Holy Spirit won the war against evil". These simple
yet deeply penetrating words of prayer, said at the celebration of
saints in the Armenian Church, depict the particular importance of
saints in the life and witness of the church. In fact, empowered by
the committed engagement of the saints in the witness, evangelism
and mission of the church, the church courageously faced the evils
of all times and indeed it "won the war against evil".

Saints are those persons who, being endowed with spiritual and moral
virtues, live their life according to the Gospel values and sacrifice
their lives for their Christian faith.

Saints transform our life with eternal truths and lead us to
Christ-centered "way, truth and life" (John 14: 6). Saints are the
beams of divine holiness, keeping us away from the corruption of life.

They are the radiation of heavenly light, illumining the darkness of
our life. They are ladders extended from the earth to heaven, lifting
us up from the domination of worldliness. Saints are, in the words
of Armenian hymn , "strong armour against the invasion of the enemy".

Indeed, with their profound faith and saintly life, the saints
challenge us to live heaven on earth, to imbue our life with the
message of Bethlehem, to profess Christ as the true way of life,
and affirm His Gospel as the absolute truth against the "truths"
offered by the world. With their confession of faith and martyrdom
in life and in death, and as mediators before Christ, saints inspire
and lead us to fulfill our God-given vocation in the world as the
ambassadors of the Son of God.

Therefore, without the transforming presence of saints, our life has
no purpose; without the empowering presence of saints our life has
no meaning.

It is highly significant that the saints in the Armenian Church were
not canonized by strictly following church procedures. Their saintly
life and dedicated witness have led the people to consider them as
saints even in their life-time and then, only then, the church has
canonized them.

Our saints are not confined to liturgy; they are not regarded mere
outstanding figures in the annals of church history. They have been
transformed into an existential reality permeating all aspects of our
life, touching in one way or another every individual in and making
difference in our personal and community life.

Today as the two Catholicoi, together with our bishops, canonize
collectively the one-and-a-half-million martyrs of the Armenian
Genocide, we should remind ourselves that for the past hundred years,
our martyrs have become a living and life-giving reality in our life.

With their martyrdom they deepened our faith, strengthened our resolve,
increased our hope, and sustained our struggle aimed at the restoration
of justice.

Today the Armenian Church is in joy because it is being spiritually
enriched with new saints who will certainly give a new vitality to
the life and witness of church, in general and the Armenian Church,
in particular.

Today our people in Armenia and in Diaspora are in joy because their
forefathers and foremothers, who were the victims of the genocide
planned and executed by the Ottoman government in 1915, join the
multitude of saints and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Christ.

Our martyrs, who, empowered by the Holy Spirit overcame the "war
against evil", empower us with renewed faith to face boldly the new
evils of new times.

Our martyrs, who shed their blood for their Christian faith, undergird
our life, thought and action by spiritual and moral values and ideals.

This is a unique moment in our modern history; a moment marked by
profound meaning and message. This moment calls us not only to look
backward by remembering our martyrs, but also to look forward by
reaffirming our commitment to carry on, with renewed vigor and sense
of responsibility, the cause of our martyrs. Indeed, the cause of the
martyrs is a cause of justice and human dignity. We do believe that
truth must be accepted and the human rights of our people restored.

Only the acceptance of the truth will lead to reconciliation.

23.04.15, 19:51