His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, addressed Armenian faithful throughout the world on the eve of 2021. Click on the following links to view his video message, and to read it in Armenian. An English translation appears below.
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Dear Faithful in the Homeland, Artsakh, and the Diaspora:
On this festive day of New Year we extend our Pontifical greetings, love, and blessings from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to you, dear faithful people of Armenia.
On the border between old and new, when we gaze into the future, with a heavy heart we remember the ominous year of 2020, mourning the loss of thousands of our children, as well as a significant part of the land of Artsakh.
In the preceding year, the horrors of the pandemic and war in Artsakh spread the pain of loss and grief of death in our national life.
Our souls were shaken by the severe consequences of the uninterrupted war in Syria and the catastrophic events in Lebanon.
The political, economic and social challenges facing our country, the fragile peace on the borders of the homeland, and the uncertainty toward the future, have almost managed to weaken the spirit of optimism of the children of our people.
Yes, we are disappointed. But trusting in God, we are full of faith that we will overcome this heavy crisis.
“You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:11).
Embracing these words of the psalmist in their souls, our people have turned their hopeful eyes to the future at all times.
With the cherished vision of independent Armenian statehood and immense aspiration in its heart, the Armenian nation has had the power to endure the most difficult trials, even the horrors of statelessness and genocide. And even today, we believe, our nation has the potential to reorganize its life, to strengthen its native state.
The sacred mission of state-building will be crowned with success only with the united involvement of all powerful and healthy forces of our people, acting in a spirit of unity.
St. Yeghishe Vartabed says: “Unity is the mother of good deeds, and disunity gives birth to evil deeds.”
Beloved ones, it is our exhortation and message, in this trying situation, to be strengthened with faith and determination, in order to build and pass on to future generations a strong, prosperous, and secure homeland.
Being faithful to the Word of God and Christian values, let us take care of each other, and with warm love toward our long-suffering homeland, unite our efforts for the benefit of the renewal and brightness of our national and public life.
We all share the responsibility to strengthen our homeland, to protect our statehood from dangers, to make our borders peaceful and secure, and to improve the lives of our people.
With this in mind, let us anchor the new day of the homeland in brotherly love, justice, and law-abidance.
On this New Year’s Eve, let us jointly ask the Lord that His Christmas gifts will be spread in our homeland with the message of “On earth, peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
Let us pray and recall with gratitude our martyrs; wish a speedy return to the captives; recovery to our wounded children–asking for God’s support and blessing for them, for the families of our heroes, and for our people.
Let us pray for the brave soldiers of our army in the fighting positions of the homeland, for all those who celebrate the New Year in the service.
Let us remember with prayer the children of our people who died due to the pandemic.
Merciful God, by Your will and with Your abundant mercy, let 2021 be a year of peace, nation-building, and patriotic achievements; a year to bring comfort to our hearts, as well as strength and victory to Armenian life.
May God protect our homeland and its people. Happy New Year!
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
December 31, 2020