CWN - June 25 was the second day of Pope Francis’s three-day apostolic journey to Armenia, a nation described as the world’s first Christian nation because of its acceptance of the Christian faith in the early fourth century.

Today, 93% of Armenians are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. 6% of Armenians are Catholic.

Pope Francis began his schedule of public events on June 25 with a visit to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide memorial. There, he prayed in silence, laid down a wreath, and met with descendants of Armenian refugees housed by Pope Pius XI in the Apostolic Palace in the 1920s.

The Pope then flew to Gyumri, Armenia’s second-largest city, and celebrated an outdoor Mass. During his homily, he described memory, faith, and merciful love as “three stable foundations upon which we can tirelessly build and rebuild the Christian life” and paid tribute to St. Gregory of Narek, the Armenian doctor of the Church, as “a great herald of divine mercy.”

After visiting the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic cathedrals in Gyumri, the Pope flew back to Yerevan, the nation’s capital and largest city, where he took part in an evening ecumenical prayer vigil for peace.

“With great joy, we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far, and we look confidently towards the day when by God’s help we shall be united around the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of Eucharistic communion,” Pope Francis said in his address. “As we pursue that greatly desired goal, we are joined in a common pilgrimage; we walk with one another with sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion and mistrust.”

References:


Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Demons often transform themselves into angels of light and take the form of martyrs, and make it appear to us during sleep that we are in communication with them. Then, when we wake up, they plunge us into unholy joy and conceit. But you can detect their deceit by this very fact. For angles reveal torments, judgments and separations; and when we wake up we find that we are trembling and sad. As soon as we begin to believe the demons in dreams, then they make sport of us when we are awake too. He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. 'But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man. Only believe dreams that warn you of torments and judgments. But if despair afflicts you, then such dreams are also from demons.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent