Catholicosate, Featured


The Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was marked with the traditional Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Cathedral of the Great House of Cilicia on Sunday, March 31, during which His Holiness Catholicos Aram I delivered his Easter message.  

His Holiness chose as the theme of his message the words of Jesus, as quoted in John 16:33: “I have conquered the world”.

Christ conquered the world, the Catholicos said, “not by the sword, but with love; not by earthly power, but by heavenly service; not by usurping the rights of others, but by defending the rights of others.” 

The Catholicos added, “Christ conquered the world by ascending the cross and making a resurrection with the cross.” That, he said, was the message of Christ. “The message of the victorious resurrection of Christ,” His Holiness said, “has come from the ages and will continue for the ages.”   

Speaking about the present, the Catholicos said, that Christ had defeated evil, sin and death through his mystical body, the Church, with his resurrection. “Hence, to follow Christ means to fight against the evils and sins of the world, strengthened with Christ’s resurrection,” he said. “This is the way of resurrection, the way of victory of life over death.”  

In reference to the current dangers our people face, His Holiness said: “Look at our history; throughout our history, we have been surrounded by terrible troubles, wars, persecutions, genocide, emigration.” Yet, he added, “we have endured, strengthened by the faith of the resurrection, to face these terrible crises and restore, rebuild our homeland and re-establish the unity of our nation.” Therefore, he concluded, “we should not be depressed and discouraged in the face of the anxieties imposed on us, but armed with courage, we should continue the fight of our faith in order to protect our collective values and ideals.”  

He then added that “at such fateful moments, the Armenian Church has been with its people, identifying itself with the concerns and struggles of our people, considering the defense of the homeland and the rights of our people an integral part of the mission of its faith.” With the same spirit and commitment, the Catholicos said, “our church will always remain close to our people and homeland.”   

Addressing the situation in the Middle East, the Catholicos said that the Armenian people have always been on the side of the Palestinian people’s just cause, calling for an immediate end to the war in Gaza and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people.  

The Shnorhali Choir of the Catholicosate, conducted by Rev. Fr. Zaven Najarian, performed at the Divine Liturgy, which was attended by the Ambassador of Armenia to Lebanon and Embassy staff, who joined the faithful and representatives of community organizations at the Cathedral.     

Following the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch’s procession marched to the Catholicos’s Residence with great solemnity, where everybody sang the hymn Cilicia and the Patriarch’s eulogy. Then, the Patriarch blessed the present believers, announcing once again: “Christ is risen from the dead, blessed is the resurrection of Christ!”    

Thereafter, the Patriarch received the Easter greetings from spiritual, political, and Armenian leaders and high-ranking officials in the hall of the Catholicos’s Residence, as well as the faithful.