His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over a requiem service at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for the victims of the blast that rocked Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 4.
The Holy Liturgy was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Lebanon to the Republic of Armenia, Mrs. Maya Dagher, member of the Central Executive Board of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Mr. Vazgen Yakubyan, and philanthropist Gabriel Chamberjian.
Those present prayed to God for the peace of the souls of the victims of the Beirut blast.
“Today, we offer our prayers for the friendly people of Lebanon, who are in grief and after the catastrophic blast in Beirut, to ask the Heavenly to give them the strength to endure the pain of loss and the severe effects of destruction,” the Catholicos said before the requiem service.
“With sorrowful feelings we ask the Merciful Lord to grant peace and tranquility to the souls of the victims, including the children, to comfort the hearts of their relatives and all the mourners, and to heal the thousands of the wounded as soon as possible,” he added.
“Lebanon has always been a friendly country, where thousands of children of our people, survivors of the genocide, have found support and encouragement. Due to the kindness and brotherly spirit of the Arab people, the Armenian immigrants settled in Lebanon, completely organized their national and religious life, established schools, prayer halls, and cultural institutions. Under favorable conditions for peaceful and secure coexistence, Lebanese-Armenians, together with their Islamic-Christian brethren, made a significant contribution to the political, economic, and cultural life of Lebanon, and to the development and progress of the country. The relations between our two peoples և countries have always been characterized by friendship և productive cooperation,” His Holiness stated.
“Lebanon today needs the support of states and peoples. Our country is also providing assistance to the Lebanese people these days. All Armenians today stand together with o Lebanon in this ordeal. On the occasion of the tragic catastrophe, we once again express our condolences to the Honorable President of Lebanon, the Council of Elders, the people, our caring brother, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I, the Armenian community, and our condolences to the families of the fallen Armenians,” the Catholicos continued.
“We believe that the benevolent people of Lebanon, who have endured many trials throughout their history, can overcome these trials and tribulations with their endurance, in the spirit of unity. On this occasion, dear ones, we extend our patriarchal appeal to our children around the world, to our dioceses, to show their support to the Lebanese-Armenian community, helping to restore the terrible damage and devastation caused by the explosion at this difficult time.” The Pontiff said.
“May the Supreme Lord keep the blessed people of Lebanon under His blessing, help them stay strong in this difficult moment, get out of the difficult trials, re-establish the process of creative and secure life. May Almighty God, by His mercy, grant peace and prosperity to the world and all mankind, to our native country today, always. Amen.” His Holiness concluded.