In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: amen
“Be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and to clothe yourselves with the new self,
created according to the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness.”
Dear Faithful in the Homeland, in Artsakh and the Diaspora,
On this miraculous day of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, gathered in our churches, we praise the newborn Savior, conveying the salvific good news to each other “Christ is born and revealed, to you and to us a great tiding”.
For more than two thousand years, the good news of the Nativity of Christ resounds in the world, echoes in the souls of people as an unparalleled invitation to be renewed in Christ, to establish peace, increase love. Inspired by the tidings of the Nativity of Christ, the apostle exhorts “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Indeed, the Son of God came into the world to show sinful man the way of salvation that opens to those renewed in Christ. It is on such path that the souls who believe in the Savior and do not bend against tribulations, and those who unshakably fight against sin and evil, proceed.
The graces of the Nativity of our Lord grant the humanity a blessed life anchored in godliness, kindness, truth and justice arm souls in despair over loss and pain, with hope and optimism, bring healing and replenishment to hearts deserted from lack of kindness and love, and strengthen them to face difficulties and overcome even the seemingly intractable crises and hardships.
Ignoring the call for renewal in the life of mankind by the birth of Savior, actions that are contrary to the commandments of the Son of God; spread evil and destruction, and today lead to clashes and intolerance in society and families, as well as conflicts and enmity among nations and states. Indeed, according to the words of the apostle, ‘The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23).
Dear ones, the miraculous Nativity of the Son of God, instills our Christ-loving people with special courage and adorns them with faith, who have been subjected to new trials in recent years. Throughout the plagues of the Artsakh War and the military hostilities unleashed by Azerbaijan against Armenia several months ago, we again underwent the pain and suffering of heavy losses. Our sons died heroically for the sake of the homeland and thousands became disabled. Dozens of our sons are in captivity and there are still missing people. The only road connecting Artsakh with Armenia has been blocked for a long time, which has led to a humanitarian catastrophe. In this difficult situation, in order to overcome the problems that we face, we need a true renewal, to be purified in heart, soul, mind, and to be transformed through Christ and in one accord and unity in our commitments for the sake of the nation and the motherland. With such renewal, we will be able to exclude every evil and injustice, the destructive manifestations of fear, violence, hatred and detrimental adaptation from our national life, and consolidate all the national potential with a vision of a prosperous future for the motherland, establish mutual respect and love, firmly anchor Armenia-Diaspora cooperation on solid foundations of trust. We know from our historical experience that we emerged victorious from difficulties when we were united on common goals. Renewed in Christ, united in Christ, walking in the path of God, we, as the apostle says, will emerge victorious from hardships surrounding us today as well.
Dear sons and daughters, asking for God’s help, let us remain firm in faith in Lord our Savior, and preserve the spiritual experience of the hope-bearing feast of the Nativity with a steadfast heart. Let us strengthen ourselves with the love for the homeland and support our sisters and brothers suffering in Artsakh and border regions of Armenia in every possible way. Let us realize that we are accountable to the motherland and her generations and let us not endanger our independent statehood. Let us make our good deeds the foundations of our rise and victory and together build the safe and luminous future of our nation and homeland.
At this sacred moment of the Divine Liturgy we address our pontifical message to our brave and courageous sons and daughters of Artsakh. Dear people of Artsakh, the thoughts and gazes of our people these days are mainly directed towards you. You have never given up and never backed down in the face of difficulties. Today as well you continue to fight heroically for your free and independent life, for the sake of restoration of historical justice. Following the glorious example of your brave ancestors, remain firm and unshaken in your determination to live and create in your native land. Our Holy Church with its worldwide dioceses is with you, assisting and supporting you. The just demand for the protection of your fundamental rights will prevail with the efforts of all Armenians, and with the support of the international community. We believe, that with God’s mercy, our people will shine a light in the darkness surrounding them and will overcome the most serious challenges they face in their lives.
With these feelings and thoughts, and the angelic tidings of the Nativity, we bring our greetings to the incumbents of the Hierarchical Sees of our Holy Church: the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, His Holiness Aram I; the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian; and the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Archbishop Sahak Mashalyan; wishing that God support them in the Christ-bestowed ministry.
With fraternal love in Christ, we greet the Heads of our sister churches, asking for the blessings of the Infant Savior in their God-given mission and for the faithful flock.
We extend our Pontifical wishes and love to the clergy of our Holy Church and all our faithful people in our homeland and the Diaspora.
On this gracious morning, with a heartfelt prayer, we ask the Almighty Lord so that the bright radiance of the star of Bethlehem shines perpetually in the firmament of our national life, so that relying on the Savior, we may affirm our course in the paths of love, solidarity and unity.
May there be peace to the world and humanity by the life-giving mystery of the Nativity. May our Armenian people around the world, enlightened by faith, strengthen their homeland, Armenia and Artsakh, make their cherished dreams come true, and glorify the incarnate Christ our Savior by voicing with gratification:
Christ is born and revealed,
Blessed is the Revelation of Christ