Vatican City (Thursday, 04-09-2015, Gaudium Press) – This morning Pope Francis received in audience twenty bishops of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church, who will attend next Sunday’s Holy Mass to be celebrated for faithful of Armenian rite in St. Peter’s Basilica, during which St. Gregory of Narek will be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.
In the discourse he addressed to the bishops, the Holy Father remarked that on Sunday they will “raise a prayer of Christian intercession for the sons and daughters of your beloved people, who were made victims a hundred years ago”, and invoked Divine Mercy “so that it might help all, in the love for truth and justice, to heal every wound and to expedite concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace between the nations that still have not managed to reach a reasonable consensus on the interpretation of these sad events”.
Francis greeted all the clergy and lay faithful of the Armenian Catholic Church, many of whom have accompanied the bishops to Rome in these days, as well as “those who live in the countries of the diaspora, such as the United States, Latin America, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, up to the Motherland”. He added, “I think with particular sadness of those areas, such as that of Aleppo, that a hundred years ago were a safe haven for the few survivors. In such regions the stability of Christians, not only Armenians, has latterly been placed in danger”.
“Your people, whom tradition recognises as the first to convert to Christianity in 301, has a two thousand-year history and preserves an admirable patrimony of spirituality and culture, united with a capacity for recovery amid the many persecutions and trials to which it has been subjected. I invite you always to cultivate a sentiment of acknowledgement of the Lord, for having been capable of maintaining fidelity to Him even during the most difficult periods. It is important, furthermore, to ask of God the gift of wisdom of the heart: the commemoration of the victims of a hundred years ago indeed places us before the darkness of the mysterium iniquitatis”.