In light of the persecutions and the sufferings of early Christians, St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans asks: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Witnessing to Christ through martyrdom is intertwined with the life of our people. Our people's history is pockmarked with deprivation, persecution and violence. Over the centuries, our nation has struggled for survival, and through it our people have asked the same question: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
From Avarayr to the Armenian Genocide and even today, the answer, written with the sacred blood of our martyrs, is: "For we are convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39)
For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son into the world for the salvation of humanity. Indeed, there is no greater force that transforms peoples and nations than unconditional divine love. As the great historian Yeghishe tells us, "God’s love is more powerful than all earthly greatness and makes man as dauntless as the incorporeal hosts of angels."
During the years of the Genocide of the Armenians, our people were uprooted and massacred in a premeditated crime. They passed through fire and sword, tasted the bitter fruits of torture and sorrow. Nevertheless, in the midst of horrid torments, they remained strengthened by the same divine love.
During the past hundred years, on every April 24th, we mourned and offered a requiem service in memory of those who perished in 1915. Now we will celebrate the glorious Feast of our Holy Martyrs and fearlessly proclaim: "Not death nor life, neither angels nor men, neither water nor fire, nor any bitter blow can separate us from the love of God that is in our Christ Jesus our Lord!”
May the prayers of all the Armenian martyrs obtain for us the grace of perseverance in faith and in every good work, holiness and purity of heart, and apostolic zeal in bearing witness to Jesus in this beloved country, in Armenia and to the ends of the earth.