Message of His Holiness Karekin II
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ
6 January 2009, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
"A NEW KING IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM
BLESS (HIM) SONS OF MANKIND,
FOR HE BECAME INCARNATE FOR US."
--Armenian Church Hymnal
Dear pious faithful in Armenia, Artsakh and the Dispersion,
With songs of praise and prayers of thanksgiving we celebrate the Feast of
the Holy Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ today, conveying
the good news of the incarnation of God and the revelation of the Savior.
The prayerful fathers of our Church called the Holy Nativity a `mystery
great and wondrous'. They named it as such, since it is impossible to
describe how the uncontainable, the eternal and the boundless was contained
in a manger; how the Word and Wisdom of God was born in a stable of
incognizant animals. It remains beyond the comprehension of the human mind
how the Only Begotten Son of God - the Creator's Light of Glory - became a
created being, and the Lord took on the form of the servant.
We do not know how this great miracle of God came to pass nor can it be
explained; however we do know the reason for the miracle, `For He became
incarnate for us'. Truly, these few words explain the Almighty's
providential will, guiding and directing the Holy Nativity and Theophany.
God is Lord and Creator `of heaven and earth, of things visible and
invisible'. His glory is shown by His temporal and spiritual creations -
the universe, mankind and the angels. The God of all has no need for body
nor time. The Savior seated on the eternal throne of God had no need to
descend from the heights of heaven to this sinful earth. The Prince of
Peace had no need for persecution, torture, and crucifixion; there was no
need for a crown of thorns, death, or resurrection. But all of this the
Savior took upon Himself for our sake. The Love of God took on flesh to
liberate us from the power of sin and death, and to make us worthy of the
blessedness of eternal life. `In this is love, not that we loved God, but
that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins.' I John
4:10. God Whom we lovingly worship does not desire our death or
condemnation, and for that reason He Himself came to live within us. He
came to transform our lives, to grant us the hope of salvation and eternal
Indeed, our songs of praise and giving of thanks have no value, if within
the depths of our soul we do not have the unshaken faith that God `became
incarnate for us'. Our prayers will not be heard, if God does not abide in
the very center of our existence.
Holy Nativity marks the beginning of reconciliation between God and man; it
is the invitation to inherit eternal life and the exhortation to remain
under the grace of salvation with Jesus Christ. God revealed Himself to us
in His fullness, so that we do not remain apart from that fullness of divine
and human perfection, and so that our lives hoping for salvation become
satiated with that fullness of perfection. We believe that God is one. Is
unity not essential for us? We preach that God is love. Do we not feel the
need for love? Can we live without love? Can we create without love? God,
to Whom we constantly pray, is holy, righteous and benevolent. Let us
examine our hearts - do we not feel the need for holiness? Let us examine
our actions - are they always truthful, good and benevolent? We declare
that God is just. Do we not long for justice every hour of every day? We
confess that God is our Father; that He is merciful, the unending source of
peace and the grantor of goodness. Is peace not our daily appeal and wish?
Does the earth not yearn for mercy and care every day? He who recognizes
God in this manner, cannot live without Him; cannot live without binding his
own hope for salvation with the faith of the incarnation of the Son of God;
and cannot live without aspiring to always be under His blessings and
The world loses its path without the light from the star of Bethlehem.
Without Christ, the world will always be in distress, troubled and lacking
morality. Material progress alone will not secure the avoidance of crisis
situations, the prevention of conflicts and discord, or the elimination of
disasters and poverty. The disregard of spiritual values and the tendencies
of secularization unequivocally damage sacred traditions, distort moral
concepts and understanding, as well as the inner-world of man, causing him
to be indifferent to and alienated from God, from himself and the world. It
is God who sustains the human soul. Human life shall be repaired by the
soul that loves God and the power of faith, so that there is no blurring of
the boundaries between philanthropy and egoism, so that there is no failure
to differentiate between the just and the unjust, truth and falsehood, good
and evil. Many issues shall be decided, many disparities shall be leveled
and wounds shall be healed by the discerning comprehension and belief that
the Son of God became man for our sake. This example of perfect love is
light and direction for our lives and a commission to work with love. `Put
on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness,
lowliness, meekness and patience, forbearing one another; and if one has a
complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven
you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds
everything together in perfect harmony.' Colossians 3:12-14.
Dear faithful Armenians, on the `great and wondrous' feast of the Holy
Nativity and Theophany, our Church commemorates the holy baptism of Jesus
Christ with the Blessing of the Waters service, so that through the graces
of Christ's revelation to mankind, the blessed water be distributed
throughout our families, increasing the love and blessings of God in our
lives. Through our baptism, we are adopted by God. Through our baptism, we
are one - regardless of where we may be; we are the sons and daughters of
our Holy Apostolic Church, our nation and our homeland. Let us live and
work with this sense of unity and love towards one another, so that we may
be empowered to overcome all difficulties and challenges, to progress toward
the achievement of our hopes and aims. As the oldest Christian nation and
as God's people, let us bring our participation with our God-pleasing lives
in the creation of a peaceful and prosperous world - a world filled with
solidarity and happiness. Today our Lord and Savior comes to live within
our hearts and to renew us with His grace. Let us receive the Lord in our
souls, be reinforced with faith, and remain loyal to our spiritual
inheritance and Christian values. With reliance on our Lord and Savior and
the steadfast hope and strength granted from Him, let us make our lives
flourishing in all aspects, continue to build our native land, and care and
strive for the manifestation of all national aspirations and the rights of
our people in Artsakh. May our virtuous works and benevolent souls filled
with love towards one another always shine brightly in our lives, whereby we
shall bear witness that we love God.
It is with these emotions, prayers of joy and warm Pontifical love, from the
cradle of our faith - the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin - that we greet all
sons and daughters of our people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.
With fraternal love in Christ, we greet the incumbents of the hierarchal
sees of our Holy Apostolic Church: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the
Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch
of Jerusalem; His Beatitude Mesrob Mutafyan, Armenian Patriarch of
Constantinople; and the oath-bound ranks of our clergy.
We extend our Pontifical blessings and greetings to the President of the
Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; the President of the Republic of
Nagorno Karabagh, Bako Sahakian; all state officials of the Armenians, and
leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia.
On this grace-renewing day of the Holy Nativity, let us offer thanksgiving
with prayers to God in heaven for the blessings and consolation He grants
us; for the successes and achievements in our ecclesiastical and national
life, and ask that He care for us with His boundless love as is His will.
May He make us worthy to remain steadfast on His path, reinforce us,
illuminate us and make His saving grace shine within us, today and always.
`Bless (Him) sons of mankind, for He became incarnate for us.'
CHRIST IS BORN AND REVEALED
GREAT TIDINGS TO ALL
Jan 4 2009
Christian religious leaders call for peace in Gaza Strip
(ANA-MPA) - Jerusalem Patriarch Theofilos III and the religious
leaders of the Christian Churches of the Holy Land called for an
immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, in a joint announcement issued
Appealing to the leaders of Israel and Palestine, they called on them
to stop every act of war immediately, while appealing to the
international community in parallel to take action immediately to put
an end to the conflict that has caused hundreds of victims, including
The leaders of Christianity, Patriarchs and Archbishops (Greek
Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarch Theofilos III, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal
and Armenian Patriarch Torkom III) expressed their "profound sorrow
and abhorrence over the new round of violence, the destruction and the
bloodshed that are taking place in the Gaza Strip during a period that
coincides in time with the celebration of the Birth of the King of
love and peace."
Deutsche Telekom AG , Germany
Jan 6 2009
Noah's Ark did not land on Ararat?
The famous Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey: a biblical city - or not ?
[Translated from German exclusively for Armenian New Network Groong]
MPs of a Turkish parliamentary committee claim to have found the true
resting place of Noah's Ark. Unlike in the Bible, which tells that the
Ark after the flood landed on the famous Mount Ararat in eastern
Anatolia, the MPs claim that the Ark landed on Mount Cudié - which is
located in the southeast of Turkey. This also corresponds to the
representation in the Koran.
This was reported in the Turkish media as an official report which the
delegates seriously composed about this subject, even though the MPs
had only the order of the committee to investigate the problems of the
Turkish olive industry. On the trail of their investigation, they
however came across into the trace of the Ark .
No olive branches at Ararat
In the biblical story of the Ark, it says that after the flood, Noah
sent out a Dove to seek for Land. After a first vain attempt, the Dove
returned to the Ark with an olive branch in its beak. On Ararat, there
are however no wild olive trees, the MPs concluded in their report
astutely - on the other hand, at Mount Cudié there are wild olive
Protests against new thesis
However , the new insights of these politicians are not
undisputed. The delegate Yasar Eryilmaz designated the work of his
colleagues as a pure product of imagination. Eryilmaz defence against
these news, which relocates the Ark of Ararat on Mount Cudié, shouldnt
surprise anyone; he represents the province Agri in the parliament -
which is located at the foot of the Ararat.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Message of His Holiness Karekin II