September 27, 2020 has been a fateful date, one that has left a black mark in Armenian history. One more time, the land of Artsakh was subjected to Turkish-Azerbaijani savagery, and as a result, the Armenian nation gave more than 5,000 martyrs, more than 200 prisoners, and hundreds still are unaccounted for, in addition to the enormous loss of lands.
On Sunday, September 26, following Divine Liturgy presided by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I at St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Cathedral in Antelias, a requiem service was held for the souls of the Armenians who were heroically martyred in defense of the homeland during the war.
In comments made to Cilicia TV after liturgy, His Holiness said that “Armenians remember the 44-day war, with its horrific human, territorial, and material losses, with mixed feelings.”
He said that on this sad occasion he accompanied with his thoughts and feelings the parents of the martyrs, saying: “Your children shed their blood for the security and independence of the homeland.” He, who dies for this sublime goal, “is a martyr and you have to be proud that your child was martyred for our nation and our homeland.”
When we remember our martyrs today, “we also have to listen to their message that’s coming from heaven –we have to defend our homeland with faith and dedication, we have to stand firm before the enemy, and be unrelenting, hardened with faith and will.” It was “with this knowledge that our martyrs fought and died.”
His Holiness added that our history reminds us that “a people grow with its martyrs, it becomes great and eternal with them.”