13:00, 24 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Armenia, Honored
Presidents and Dignitaries of Foreign States, Spiritual Heads of
Sister Churches and Diligent Clergy, Honored Representatives of
International and Ecumenical Organizations, Honored Guests and Dear
and Beloved Faithful,

This is a historic and sacred day. It is the 100th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide. We have gathered once again at the Tsitsernakaberd
Memorial to evoke the memory of our holy martyrs.

It is spiritually consoling for our people in the homeland and the
diaspora, as it is for us, that you - Honored Presidents of foreign
states; dear spiritual Heads and clergy of sister Churches; and
representatives of governmental, public and ecumenical organizations -
are here to nobly participate in the commemoration service in memory of
our countless martyrs. We offer our gratitude to you, your countries
and peoples, for the respect you have expressed toward our people by
your presence.

The Genocide of the Armenians, coordinated and implemented by Ottoman
Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century is the greatest tragedy
of our recent history, which by not garnering appropriate assessment
and condemnation, became the precedent to new crimes. We offer thanks
to God, that the Armenian Genocide is now at the center of attention
of the international community, and is receiving recognition and
condemnation. Our presence here underlines our responsibility to
provide future generations a peaceful and secure world, free of
violence and atrocities.

With the blessing of God, yesterday we offered the service of
canonization for the sons and daughters of our Holy Church whose
lives were sacrificed during the years of the genocide "for faith
and homeland". Today from this hilltop in view of Ararat, where the
radiant souls of our martyrs are present, and holiness shelters us like
a canopy, we offer up a prayer of intercession to heaven, appealing for
peace in the world, and love and harmony among men. Our holy martyrs
today bring a message to us and a calling to be apostles: Apostles
of justice, condemning atrocities against humanity - genocides,
terrorism, and the trampling of the rights of men and nations. The
patrons of philanthropy, righteousness and peace - our holy martyrs -
call us to be apostles of truth, challenging the preaching of fiction
and spreading of lies, to reject denialism, and to overcome intolerance
and indifference.

The bitter memories of the genocide over the course of 100 years have
not darkened the souls of our people with evil or revenge. Hatred has
not penetrated our sorrow; instead we have remained resolute when faced
with frauds and the distortions of our history; we have not retreated
on our path of struggling for the truth. Our people today continue
to live under conditions of illegal blockade and the threat of war;
endure the difficulties; and protect their rights with faith in the
supremacy of the rights of men and nations.

Before the memory of our holy martyrs, we once again express our
gratitude to those countries, governments, religious and public
institutions and organizations that have recognized and condemned the
Armenian Genocide, as well as all states, peoples and individuals who
extended their helping hands during those cruel years of the genocide,
and granted refuge to the sons and daughters of our people.

It is my prayer as Pontiff, that our people keep faith and patriotism
steadfast, and the will to reestablish their rights resolute and
strong. Through the intercession of our holy martyrs, we appeal for
peace, justice, love and mercy to eternally reign over the earth,
for the sake of a joyful, safe and prosperous life. Amen.

From: A. Papazian