Saturday, June 25, 2016

#PopeFrancis "Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy. Forgive us, expiate and remit our sins." at #Armenian Memorial - FULL Video - Text


(Vatican Radio) On Saturday 25th of June, the second day of his Apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis participated in a prayer service at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial to the Metz Yeghern, or 'Great Evil', as Armenians refer to the 1915 massacres. A dark chapter for this nation which Pope Francis has referred to as 'genocide'.
The monument built in the 1960’s during the Soviet era has become since independence a symbol of national renaissance. While here Pope Francis prayed at length. In a special way during an ecumenical prayer service, held in memory of those fallen in the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which consisted in the Our Father, the reading of two Biblical passages and an intercessory prayer.
It was a moving ceremony during which Pope Francis also prayed in silence and  laid a wreath of flowers by the 44 metre column which symbolizes the renaissance of Armenia as well as two roses with the Vatican colours, so one yellow one white by the eternal flame of the Memorial complex. 
The Memorial stood out against the backdrop of snow capped Mount Ararat with its biblical connotations and the ceremony was accompanied by mournful music. It  ended with Pope Francis planting a fir tree in a gesture symbolic of hope and peace.
But there was one last significant event during this ceremony, the encounter of Pope Francis with ten descendants of the Armenain refugees who found a safe haven in the Vatican apostolic palace of Castelgandolfo in the 1920’s under the pontificate of  Pius XI. 
During his visit to the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex – which commemorates the ‘Metz Yeghern’ (Armenian for ‘Great Evil’, the massacre of Armenians in the early part of the twentieth century) – Pope Francis signed his name in the ‘book of honour’.
He also left a message in memory of his visit. “I pray here,” he said, “with sorrow in my heart, that there might never more be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant tot he beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peaceand consolation.”

Afterwards he wrote, “May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must not be either watered down or forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.”
Pope Francis participated in a prayer service at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial to the Metz Yeghern, or 'Great Evil', in Armenia on Saturday morning, offering an intercessory prayer and extensive silent prayer for the dead.
The ecumenical prayer service, held in memory of those fallen in the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, consisted in the Our Father prayer, the reading of two Biblical passages (Heb 10,32-36 & John 14,1-13), and an intercessory prayer by Pope Francis.
Also present at the prayer service was a small group of descendants of the Armenian refugees whom Pope Pius XI hosted at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo after the Metz Yeghern.
At the conclusion of the service, the Holy Father stopped briefly to bless and water a tree in remembrance of his visit to the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial.
Below, please find a Vatican Radio English translation of the Pope's intercessory prayer:
Christ, who crowns your saints,
who fulfills the will of your faithful
and looks with love and tenderness upon your creatures,
hear us from your holy heavens,
by the intercession of the holy Generatrix of God
and by the prayer of your saints
and those whom we remember today.
Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy.
Forgive us, expiate and remit our sins.
Make us worthy to glorify you with thankful hearts,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

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