Pope Francis received Thursday Patriarch Karekin II of Armenians, calling never forget the blood of the Christian Armenians in the last century and stressing that the sacrifice of the martyrs should strengthen unity among their different communities.
The Pope made indirect reference to the great massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century: “The number of disciples who shed their blood for Christ in the tragedies of the last century is certainly superior to that of the martyrs of the first centuries “of the Church.
“In this martyrology, children of the Armenian nation has a place of honor,” he noted, before the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church ancient seven million followers scattered between Armenia and the Diaspora, especially in North America.
The testimony of the Armenians “should not be forgotten. Commme in the ancient Church, the blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians, just as today, the blood of many Christians became seed of unity “between the churches, he has said.
“Ecumenism of suffering and martyrdom is a powerful pounding the road of reconciliation between churches exhortation. We feel the need to travel this road of brotherhood. ”
This notion of “ecumenism of martyrdom” came up several times in the mouth of the Pope or senior church leaders, especially about the Syrian tragedy or terrorist actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Christians of different denominations have been killed or kidnapped by Islamist groups in these countries.
The call for the unity of the churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, often divided by old quarrels, should be a strong point of the message of Francis, when he will visit Jordan, Palestine and Israel from 24 to 26 May.
Catholicos, already present at the Mass inaugurating the pontificate of Francis in March 2013, then had a time of ecumenical prayer with the Pope, in a chapel in the Vatican.
In 1999, Karekin was elected 132nd Patriarch of the Armenians, and had several meetings with the recent popes.
Arrived Wednesday for a stay of several days in Rome before heading to the United States, he had a program meeting the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, and an interview with Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus.
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE TO FRANCIS Karekin II SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL WITH HIS ENTOURAGE Armenians
Thursday, 8 May 2014
Your Holiness, Dear Brothers in Christ,
I gladly offer a MOST heartfelt welcome to you and to the distinguished delegation Accompanying you. Through Your Holiness, I extend aussi respectful and affectionate greetings to the members of the family Catholicate and to all Armenians around the world. It is a Particular thanks to greet you here so close to the tomb of the Apostle Peter and to share this moment of prayer and fraternity.
With you, I praise the Lord, Because in recent years Relations Between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Church of Rome Have Been Strengthened, thanks to the events All which are so dear to our memory. Here I recall the visit of my sainted predecessor to Armenia in 2001, and the welcome presence of Your Holiness in the Vatican for the official visit Benedict XVI toPope in 2008 and for the inauguration of my ministry as Bishop of Rome last year.
Here I wish to recall Reviews another occasion full of meaning in All which Your Holiness participated: the commemoration of the Witnesses to the faith of the twentieth century, Which Took Place in the context of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 In truth, the number of. Have you shed Their Blood disciples for Christ falling on the tragic events of the last century is Certainly Greater Than That of the martyrs of the first centuries, and in this martyrology the children of the Armenian nation-have a place of honor. The mystery of the Cross, to the precious memory of your people and Depicted in the splendid stone crosses All which adorn every corner of your land, has-beens Lived as a Direct participation in the chalice of the Passion by So Many of your people. Their witness, at once tragic and great, must not be forgotten.
Your Holiness, dear Brothers, the Sufferings Endured by Christians in contention last Decades-have made a unique and invaluable contribution to the unity of Christ’s disciples. As in the ancient Church, the blood of the martyrs Became the seed of new Christians. So too in our time the blood of innumerable Christians HAS Become a seed of unity. The ecumenism of suffering and of the martyrdom of blood are A Powerful summons to walk along the path of reconciliation Between the Churches, by courageously and decisively Abandoning Ourselves to the working of the Holy Spirit. We feel the duty to follow this path fraternal aussi out of the debt of gratitude we owe to the suffering so; many of our brothers and sisters, All which is salvific Because it is united to the Passion of Christ.
In this regard, I wish to thank Your Holiness for the effective medium Given to ecumenical dialogue, and in Particular to the work of the commission for theological dialogue attached Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and for the skillful theological contributions by offert Representatives of the Catholicate of All Armenians.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, Have you consoles us in all our affliction, so Abebooks web console May be ble to Those Who Are in Any Way afflicted with the consolation All which we are with Ourselves consoled by God “(2 Corinthians 1: 3-4). Full of trust, May we walk the path That lies ahead of us, sustained by so great a cloud of Witnesses (cf. Heb 12:1), and implore the Father for the unity All which Christ Prayed for himself at the Last Supper (cf. . Jn 5:21 p.m.).
Let us pray for each other: may the Holy Spirit enlighten us and lead us to That Day, so Greatly Desired, All which we can share in the Eucharistic table. We praise God in the words of St. Gregory of Narek, “Accept the song of blessing from our lips and deign to grant to this Church the gifts and graces of Zion and of Bethlehem, so can be made on the Abebooks web worthy to Participate in salvation” . May the all-holy Mother of God intercede for the Armenian people now and always.
Source: Stéphane © armenews.com