Pope to celebrate Mass marking 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will celebrate a special liturgy in April with Armenian Catholics, who are marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Vatican announced.
Publishing the list of papal liturgies for February, March and April, the Vatican did not mention where the pope would celebrate the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper April 2, Holy Thursday.
The Vatican press office said Jan. 27 that the pope would decide later where to celebrate the Mass, which includes the washing of feet. The first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass at a juvenile detention facility; last year he presided over the Mass at a rehabilitation center.
Written by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
April 2015 will mark a hundred years since the Armenian Genocide, this unfathomable loss has created a huge void in the collective conscience of the Armenian people. The genocide is a deep scar that throughout the history, the past and present of the Armenian People. It is impossible to approach the history of the Armenian people without mentioning the Genocide. Nevertheless, the Genocide alone is not sufficient to promote Armenian values and education, dwelling with the past without a clear vision of the future is pointless. For this we need vivid examples and references to understand Armenian history’s dimension without demeaning efforts to build a future of progress and prosperity for Armenians of today and tomorrow. It is imperative to save Armenia from oblivion.
A few months away from the Genocide centennial, a great opportunity lies ahead to preserve Armenian ancient for the future. Different approaches to Armenian factors allow us to make contact with this exciting and yet disconcerting reality. On one hand it’s exciting, because that’s how Armenian culture is, but on the other hand puzzling because it is difficult to understand how such a rich and intense legacy remains not sufficiently widespread. Therefore, we must undertake a well-organized project of global diffusion that would allow us to preserve everything that Armenia means to the world; its history, its culture; in short, its legacy as a guide to action and education for future generations.
Haroutyoun Khachatryan, a military physician during World War II, has been posthumously awarded the “Righteous among the Nations Award” by the Jewish “Yad Vashem” institute-museum.
During the event on 4th February Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Armenia Mr. Shmuel Mayrom and Honorary Consul of Israel in Armenia Ashot Shakhmuradyan handed the medal to Haroutyoun Khachatryan’s granddaughter, Armenian singer Anna Khachatryan.
According to the Ambassador Shmuel Mayrom, the story of Haroutyoun Khachatryan was revealed due to The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which awarded the Khachatryan family last year in the presence of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
The event was also attended by Director of Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan, who mentioned in his speech, that this event is not only dedicated to the salvation of one person by another, but it is Armenian and Jewish genocide victims’ commemoration ceremony as well:
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
The organizers of the Armenian Genocide remained unpunished as a result of indifferent approach of the powerful countries. This was followed by the Munich deal, toleration of fascism, then unleash of World War II and Holocaust – the black stain and shame of human History.
The first reference about Jews in Armenia first appears in the „Armenian History“ of Movses Khorenatsi with the following quotation. “According to semi mythical tradition, Jews appeared in the territory of Armenia after the occupation of Jerusalem by Navuhodonosor 2 King in B.C. 586. Groups of Jews were resettled in Armenia by kings Tigran 2 and Artavazd in the first century B.C.”. Jews live next to us, preserving their culture, religion and traditions. One of the ancient Jewish cemeteries of the Western world, dating back to 11-13th c. is situated in village Yeghegis of Vayot Dzor region, Armenia. The oldest dated tombstone is from B.C. 1266. The origin of the Jews in village Yeghegis and the circumstances of their disappearance are still unknown.
In the photo: The representatives of Jerusalem Revolutionary and Democratic Liberal Parties, Union Baresirats with the participation of Koryun Archimandrite Baghdasarian from the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
The concluding session of April Events' Committee took place at Jerusalem Homenetmen Club on Friday, May 23.
The leaders of the two traditional active parties in Jerusalem, with the participation of «Baresirats» Union and support of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem founded the committee of April events months ago, the purpose of which was to arrange the events connected with the commemoration of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and carry out these events properly.
In the Caucasus area, the mountainous landscape ranging from peaks of over 4000 meters high, down to – 400 under sea level, is located Armenia, relatively a small country in territory but very very rich in all the rest.
Armenian people was once a great empire but fell from its greatness during the years in history and was dominated and ruled by other empires, the latest were the Ottoman Empire and the Soviet Union. Despite many changes of regime, the Armenian people always managed to preserve its identity and its authentic culture. The independence that Armenia achieved in the beginning of the 90's is nowdays showing flourishment and the country is investing on tourism.
President Serzh Sargsyan today invited Heads of diplomatic missions of the UN member States and Heads of the offices of the international organizations accredited in Armenia for an extraordinary meeting. During the meeting the President presented them with the position of the Republic of Armenia and the decision that had been made by the National Security Council on the covert transfer by the Hungarian authorities to Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, a perpetrator of ethnic hatred motivated murder of the Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in 2004 in Budapest.
Remarks by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan at the Meeting with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited in the Republic of Armenia
Unfortunately today we invited you to the President’s Office on an extraordinary occasion. As you should know, an officer of the Azeri military who had killed Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan, was transferred to Azerbaijan. The President of Azerbaijan – and we have been warning about it – has immediately granted pardon to him.
This has happened because the Government of Hungary, a member State of the European Union and NATO, has made a deal with the authorities of Azerbaijan.
I do not want to revisit the circumstances of the murder of Gurgen Margaryan; you are very well aware of them. As the trial had demonstrated, the horrendous manslaughter took place only because Gurgen Margaryan was an Armenian.
Immediately after this crime had been perpetrated the Hungarian authorities as well as our partners – EU and NATO member States, were continually urging us to refrain from politicizing that process. We were continually urged to trust the judiciary of Hungary, a member State to those important alliances.
We have been closely following all the developments around that criminal. This issue has been discussed during each and every meeting with the President, Speaker of the Parliament, Foreign Minister and Ambassador of Hungary, and we have been assured on numerous occasions that such a transfer or a return of a criminal to Azerbaijan was excluded. We have received that same response to our requests during our contacts just a few days ago with the representatives of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and Parliament. But as a result of perfidious developments the murderer has turned up in Baku and got released.
I have nothing to say about Azerbaijan – just plainly nothing. That country speaks about itself with the actions it takes, and I am not the one to explain those steps.
Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen:
With their joint actions the authorities of Hungary and Azerbaijan have opened the door for the recurrence of such crimes. With this decision they convey a clear message to the butchers. The slaughterers hereafter are well aware of impunity they can enjoy for the murder driven by ethnic or religious hatred.
I CAN NOT TOLERATE THAT. THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA CAN NOT TOLERATE THAT. THE ARMENIAN NATION WILL NEVER FORGIVE THAT.
I officially announce that as of today we suspend diplomatic relations and all official contacts with Hungary.
We expect a precise and unambiguous response by all our partners with regard to this incident.
Anyone who tolerates this, will tomorrow be held responsible to history.
Half-measures and circumlocution are not acceptable.
We will judge the attitude of our partners towards the security of the Armenian nation by their response to this incident.
I request you urgently to convey this as my personal message to the Heads of your States and Governments.
That is all I wanted to say. I do not know if Q&A will make sense or not? I think it won’t since what happened can hardly be accommodated by a reasonable mind. A country that considers itself developed and civilized does not have the right to behave this way and it well deserves proper assessment by its partners.
The time was just before Shavu'ot holiday. These days, my own personal world is turning around a big project (collage sale), that its topic is about First fruits. I find my thoughts being occupied quite a lot with firstling. As the eldest daughter, that after her two sons were born, I know this place quite well and I also feel most comfortable with it. For me, elderness is not a burden at all, but a way of life instead, which I probably chose to my self. I know how to recognize those little places and points of pleasure in new experiences, in making choices, most of the times courageous ones, and sometimes foolish ones, which defining their classification is possible only in retrospective, according to the results. This is my natural need, which is almost always backed up by the choice to turn to this one and only way that no one went through it yet, or at least nobody did it like me until now.
When I was a child, my mother encouraged me to walk and do my own way, even when it could result a bit inconvenient and also when the alternative could seem easy and tempting. "Always make a stop and ask your self if it suits you". I took this sentence with me even more seriously than what it was meant to be when it was said. Indeed it's not always an easy way to choose but it actually is a thrilling and appropriate way and it fits me just great, like no other way suits me.
President Serzh Sargsyan sent a letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France on the occasion of adoption of the bill that makes it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. President Sargsyan expressed gratitude to his French counterpart, underscoring that France reiterated its commitment to universal values.
“Respected Mr. President,,
The adoption of the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial by the National Assembly of France just 2.5 months after your historic visit to Armenia and your words uttered at the Armenian Genocide Memorial and later at the French Square in Yerevan, is the best evidence of your personal commitment to the Armenian-French friendship, elimination of dividing lines in the region and reconciliation between peoples,” President Sargsyan wrote in the letter.
President Serzh Sargsyan told an audience of Diaspora Armenians in France that "sooner or later" Turkey will admit the Armenian Genocide.
At a community meeting in Marseille, Sargsyan, more or less repeated some of the comments made by French President Nicolas Sarcozy in Yerevan in October, when Sarcozy said Turkey has to be able to face its history no matter good or bad.
According to Mediamax new agency, Sargsyan said:
''We are sure Turkey is going to repent. It's neither a precondition nor an aspiration to take revenge. Turkey should face its history. Turkish leadership can find the strength to reconsider its approaches towards the Armenian Genocide.
The republic of Armenia is 20 years old. It seems that there is nothing unusual about this anniversary, but seen through the perspective of our turbulent past, the anniversary becomes very significant with historic ramifications.
At the turn of the 20th century, a historic opportunity was created for an independent republic, squeezed on a tiny portion of historic Armenia. The republic was short-lived, but it was a rare opportunity for self-rule after 600 years of foreign domination.
Political and historic events limited the life of the republic to only two years, after which Armenia was absorbed into the totalitarian structure of the emerging Soviet Empire.
Argentine will continue its policy of deepening relations with Armenia
On September 15 Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian received the Deputy Foreign Minister of Argentine, Alberto D Alotto, who has arrived in Armenia for inter-agency consultations.
Greeting the guest, Minister Nalbandian noted that the relations between the two countries are built on a solid basis and today s agreement on lifting the visa regime will open new opportunities for the development of comprehensive cooperation.
Noting that his country has the warmest and most friendly attitude towards Armenia and its people, Alberto D Alotto noted that Argentine will continue its policy of deepening relations with Armenia.
YEREVAN. – The Jewish community of Armenia is preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary. And along the lines of the festive activities, a book on Armenia's famous Jews is expected to be published, the Jewish community's Mahen David newspaper's editor Adelina Livshits told Armenian News.NEWS.am.
"This book is about those Jews who have contributed to different domains of life in Armenia," Livshits noted, adding that there are many Jews among Armenia's famous people.
A book entitled The Jews of Armenia: Middle Ages was published several years ago. It was published based on the material from a symposium held in Armenia's Yeghegnadzor town, where a medieval Jewish cemetery was found; this cemetery was later restored with joint efforts by Armenian and Jewish researchers.
Birthright Armenia includes excursions around the country, visits to cultural, historical sites, meetings with local Armenian youth.
A small, ancient people, dispersed across the world, hounded by genocide and tragedy, with a successful global Diaspora that remains loyal to its ancestral homeland. Sound familiar? Though it's not too difficult to make a compelling comparison between Armenians and Jews, the Armenian Diaspora's "Birthright Armenia" program is both somewhat inspired by and radically different from the Jewish world's highly successful Birthright Israel program.
Founded in 2003, the program brings young people between the ages of 20 and 32 with at least one Armenian grandparent to the country for visits ranging from two months to a year.
According to the organization, the experience is meant to foster a deeper connection to the country, and to allow for a longer, more hands-on trip than a whirlwind visit could offer.
Since it was founded, the program has hosted over 500 Armenian Diaspora youth from over 25 countries.
Sevan Kabakian, country director for the program in Armenia, says participants spend a minimum of two months to a year, volunteering around 30 hours a week.
Armenia - acknowledged as one of the cradles of civilization - is a beautiful country with sophisticated people and a long and cultured history. As a result, Armenia is an intriguing tourist destination. Numerous monuments and masterpieces of the Ancient era and Middle Ages can be found throughout the country. Tourism in Armenia is rooted in the country's historical landmarks and natural attractions such as the water resorts of Lake Sevan, the hot springs of Arzni and Jermuk, the forests of Dilijan, Aghveran, Tsaghkadzor, Bjurakan and Gugark, and the mountainous natural caves and cliffs of the Southeast region. The 5165 meter Mount Ararat, geographically located in Turkey, is a national symbol of Armenia and is visible from much of the Southwest region.