26 April 2017

The Armenian Genocide: the memory of Jerusalem

On Monday, April 24, at the Cathedral of St. James in Jerusalem, the Armenian community commemorated the 102th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Actuality and events

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102 years later, the pain is still there. The Armenian community of Jerusalem has once again commemorated this tragic event: the genocide of over a million and a half Armenians. For the occasion, a mass presided over by Father Nerseh Aloian was celebrated in the Armenian Cathedral of the old city of Jerusalem, in the presence of many faithful.

Counselor of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem
"It is a very touching ceremony. In the centenary year of the genocide, in 2015, the victims were canonized and from that moment on, we honored their "memory" because they are martyrs and have been declared saints. We demand their intercession for our efforts thanks to the international recognition of genocide."

Member of the Armenian Homeland Committee in the Holy Land
"102 years have passed since the genocide and this is no small thing. We have not only suffered a massacre: the Ottomans also expelled us from our homeland - the homeland of the Armenian people for over 3,000 years - and today we live in the diaspora.
We do not want the Armenian people to forget the life they had before; we must fight to recover that life and claim our rights."

They alternated between uninterrupted prayer and moments of silence. On the faces of the faithful present, the indelible memory of the suffering of a people still in diaspora.

Armenian man from Jerusalem
"The most important thing for me is to never forget the tragedy of our grandparents and our fathers, the tragedy of that massacre: 102 years later, we ask Turkey to recognize this massacre and we continue to fight to claim our rights."

Armenian man from Jerusalem
“The Armenian genocide is one of the first massacres in history, and it must be recognized by the whole world without exception."

At the end of the celebration, facing the 7 crosses which represent the memory of that massacre, the Armenian community embraced the recollection of that tragic event, so that "this tragic mystery of iniquity - as pointed out by Pope Francis during his visit to Armenia last year – that people suffered in their flesh, remains as a warning, so that the world will never fall again into the spiral of such horrors.”