“I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embraced the Christian faith. It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak. Here the Khachkars (special crosses) recount a singular history bound up with genuine faith and immense suffering, a history replete with magnificent testimonies to the Gospel, to which you are the heirs. I have come as a pilgrim from Rome to be with you and to express my heartfelt affections of your brothers and the fraternal embrace of the whole Catholic Church which esteems you and is close to you.” Pope France on his recent visit to Armenia.
It’s interesting and important to recognize the place Armenians have taken in Christian faith; the place where Noah’s ark landed (officially Turkey now but that land was Armenia for generations, until modern demarcation), the first nation to embrace Christianity as its religion, and one of the victims of the brutality of Islam, which slaughtered 1.5 million Christian Armenians in the very early 20th century, some of whom were my relatives.
While I’m not a particular fan of this Pope, I am proud of his very concise and touching overview and am happy to share the history here. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, the Apostles who went to Armenia, are discussed HERE. On Bartholomew.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—“ John 1:12
And that’s my little history lesson for today!
Believe in His name. Happy Sunday!