His Holiness Catholicos Aram I celebrated the Easter Divine Liturgy on Sunday, April 9, Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, at St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, where he addressed the faithful.
In his Easter message, the Catholicos urged Armenians to anchor their life in the miraculous Resurrection and not be afraid, as spoken by the angels to the women who went to visit Jesus’ tomb: “Fear not, he is not here, for he is risen.” The Catholicos underlined that the holy resurrection comprises the core purpose of the testimony of Christianity, and the triumph of Jesus over death is the triumph of good over evil.
“The faith in the Resurrection of Christ became the strong steppingstone of the mission of the church,” His Holiness said. “Despite persecutions in history, the church, fortified with the faith in the Resurrection of Christ, became the herald of the victory over death by the Son of God.”
Armenian history is full of tragic pages, but our church has never been discouraged, he added. On the contrary: it has lived by the faith of the Resurrection. Today as well, our people in Artsakh are suffering under the atrocities perpetrated by Azerbaijan, especially under the Azerbaijani blockade that has been going for more than a hundred days. He reminded that the church became the rock upon which the Armenian nation was rebuilt following the Genocide. “With its mission and service, our Church transmitted the hope of resurrected life radiating from the empty grave of Jesus to our nation, and the faith in the Resurrection against the evils of life and death.”
When Artsakh and Armenia are exposed to the attacks and threats of the new genocidal perpetrator, His Holiness said in reference to Azerbaijan, the church cannot remain indifferent. “Our church has always been in the frontline of the defense of our homeland and nation, from the battle of Vartanantz to Sardarabad and Artsakh,” the Catholicos said. “Today the resurrected Christ, by way of the church, urges the daughters and sons of our nation in Artsakh, Armenia, and the Diaspora, ‘Fear not: I am with you.’”
Fortified by the victory of Christ over death, “we must continue our struggle for justice, rights, and dignity, for Artsakh, Armenia, and the greatness of our nation,” His Holiness added.
He concluded his sermon with the good tidings: “Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!”
Following the Divine Liturgy, the pontifical procession moved to the atrium of the Catholicosate, where His Holiness received Easter congratulations.