ETCHMIADZIN, Armenia—His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, on Thursday, following a celebration of St. Vartanants, issued an encyclical on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Armenian Independence and the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia.
In the encyclical, the pontiff said, “the 100th anniversary [of independence] is an invitation to remain dedicated to our national awakening, to keep our homeland strong and to be consolidated in the homeland.”
Below is the English text of the encyclical provided by the press office of Holy Etchmiadzin.
We give thanks and praise to God, that our nation meets the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia and the heroic battles of May with restored statehood in Armenia and Artsakh and with achievements. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of these significant events, we send our Pontifical Message to our beloved people, voicing the message that “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith,” the encyclical reads.
A century ago, our people were on the verge of life and death. Ottoman Turkey, taking advantage of the confusion of World War I, carried out its Armenian Genocide program. Western Armenia and Armenian settlements were ruined in Turkey, the Turkish troops even entered Eastern Armenia, thus threatening the existence of our people.
Our whole nation that had united into one will and one soul, stood up to save the homeland, its life, its sacred places, to protect its right to live freely in the native land. Eastern Armenia was saved from the ruin and massacre, and after a long pause of five and a half centuries the Armenian statehood was restored. to God, the heroic spirit of faith, patriotism and devotion united and defended our people that in their supreme effort under the auspices of the Armenian statehood raised their lives in the homeland and the Diaspora and walked on the path of ascension..
Today, the 100th anniversary is an invitation to remain dedicated to our national awakening, to keep our homeland strong and to be consolidated in the homeland. This significant jubilee is also a new milestone for devoting ourselves to strengthening our country and national life, to continue consistent efforts for the settlement of the Artsakh issue, strengthening our army so that peace can be safeguarded within our homeland. The 100th jubilee brings a message of national unity, development of Motherland-Diaspora relations, and the re-establishment of unity in our Church.