canonizationOn April 24, 2016, the Armenian Church will observe itsĀ first Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

A special service will be performed after the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) to pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, who died in 1915 while upholding their Christian faith. The martyrs had been canonized last year in a momentous ceremony at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, where among countless dignitaries, His Holiness Karekin II (Catholicos of All Armenians) and His Holiness Aram I (Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia) officially recognized the martyrs as saints. The ceremony had ended at 19:15 Yerevan time, symbolizing the year in which the Armenian Genocide began.

“During the dire years of the genocide of the Armenians, millions of our people were uprooted and massacred in a premeditated manner, passed through fire and sword, tasted the bitter fruits of torture and sorrow … The canonization of the martyrs of the genocide brings life-giving new breath, grace and blessing to our national and ecclesiastical life.”

Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II

We celebrate these saints, in unity, and celebrate their victory over death as they live eternally in the glory of God.