Nikol Pashinyan attends Divine Liturgy on 50th Anniversary of Ordination of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia
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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s working visit to Lebanon continues.
On October 21, the second day of the visit, Nikol Pashinyan and his spouse Anna Hakobyan visited St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral in Antelias, where they attended the Divine Liturgy dedicated to the 50th anniversary of ordination of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. In attendance were the Lebanese President’s representative, members of government and parliament, representatives of the Armenian community of Lebanon, congregation members from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, blessed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
His Holiness Aram I noted in his speech: “In recent months a new chapter of love and solidarity has opened in our people’s life, especially in Armenia, and I am convinced that this page of love and solidarity should become a page of national unity, a sacred mission Armenia’s rehabilitation with the full commitment and participation of all the sons of our people. Mr. Acting Prime Minister, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia will continue in its devotion and faith to strengthen Armenia and Artsakh.”
After the Divine Liturgy, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered congratulatory remarks:
Honorable Clergymen, Ministers, Members of Parliament,
I am very much touched by your kind invitation, this long-awaited meeting and this wonderful Armenian atmosphere in the fraternal Lebanese land. I am excited that ex-officio and also, as an Armenian, who used to hear since early childhood about the role played by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Armenia’s history, I have the honor to congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of your ordination.
Indeed, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia is the spiritual center of a large part of Apostolic Armenians in the Diaspora, a unique forge for the preservation and enrichment of church and religious traditions. Antilias is in the hearts of thousands of Armenians.
We are grateful that our national identity, our cultural values and programs have been conserved for many years in these walls. Invaluable is the role of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in the formation and organization of the Armenian Diaspora in the wake of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. It is not by chance that in the most difficult period for our people, Lebanon became a beacon of salvation for tens of thousands of Armenians who survived the Genocide.
Today, interstate relations between Armenia and Lebanon are at a high level. In this regard, the role of the Armenian community in this fraternal land is great, which, under the leadership of the Catholicosate, puts its abilities, knowledge and creative potential to serve the prosperity of their second homeland - Lebanon. Thank you for creating such a story.
Committed to the people and the Church, your activity is of particular importance in terms of national identity preservation, the Christian faith and the spiritual and cultural values in the Armenian Diaspora.
We are delighted with your creative and large-scale efforts that have been successfully editing the past and modern history of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia and its diocesan structures.
It would be hard to overestimate the influence and weight of His Holiness Aram I’s blessings and wise remarks on the road to building the Armenian statehood, implementing and organizing pan-Armenian priorities and national life.
Your support for the non-violent velvet popular revolution in Armenia was as much encouraging for us. It has become the best testimony of your selfless dedication to the universal values of freedom and humanism. We felt stronger in Armenia having the support of our Diaspora. I hope that from now on you will feel more proud and strong thanks to the New Armenia.
Mediating your service, you connect not only the spiritual and secular worlds, but also the interchurch and interfaith world, standing as a credit to the Armenian people.
The new era of reorganization and revival of the mission of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia will henceforth be associated with your name and your hard work. Truly, you are a pioneer in the preservation and development of Western Armenian, and a pioneer in spreading the love of a pure mother tongue among the younger generation.
It is not by chance that the main center for the creation and distribution of textbooks on the Armenian studies disciplines for Armenian schools is Antilias, and you, with your devotion to the cause, give a new impetus to this national-patriotic work.
I am glad and happy that my generation is your contemporary: your name alone gives a feeling of pride, and your speeches from the highest tribunes, your wise and influential words about the Armenian Genocide, Syrian-Armenians and other issues of national importance are inspiring, and revive national pride.
We have always kept in focus the latest events in Syria and the Arab world. We hope that your efforts to preserve the historical and cultural heritage, the management of Armenian assets, and the restoration of the Armenian community of Syria will be successful.
The security and stability of friendly Lebanon is very important, which is the guarantor of the normal functioning of the Armenian community in this country. It is also important for us because we in Armenia feel responsibility for our compatriots.
Your efforts to ensure Armenia-Diaspora cooperation in the process of international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide are of particular importance to us.
These efforts were best demonstrated by your numerous initiatives within the framework of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Your joint prayers with Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II in memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide in those days came as an important message of solidarity to all of us.
We are grateful that you as an eminent scholar, Armenologist and theologian, who has combined wisdom, endless patriotism and constant service for over half a century to fulfill your sacred mission before God, the Armenian Apostolic Church and Motherland.
May God grant you many years of life! May your powers be multiplied to the benefit of the Armenian State and the Armenian Church! May your patriarchal staff flourish and may the Armenian Apostolic Church be unshakable! May the Lord bless Lebanon! May the Lord bless Armenia! May the Lord bless the Armenian people and the people of Lebanon!