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  • The Holy Nativity Message of Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian, Patriarch Catholicos of Armenian Catholics of the House of Cilicia

    December 24, 2021
    Greetings and divine blessings to You,
    Our honorable brothers
    Archbishops, Bishops, venerable priests and faithful people!

    Honorable brothers and beloved sons in Christ,


    The years 2020-21 will remain in the annals as a struggle of all mankind against the epidemic and the difficulties it has entailed.


    To this we must add the dangerous impulses that seek to destroy the God-created human image and the most sacred it has formed, the family. For the Armenians, all this was compounded by the post-war unstable situation, the burning pain of thousands of victims, and our homeless compatriots. Poverty in growing in the cradle of our Pontifical See, Lebanon and the deprived people are hardly making ends meet day by day.


    On September 24 of this same year, the Venerable Synod Fathers entrusted me with a very heavy and sweet yoke, electing me the 21st Catholicos Patriarch of the Armenian Catholics of the House of Cilicia. Restraining this responsible mission, I thank the Father, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and seal our word and mission with the Lord’s message. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11, 28-30). By choosing the word of Christ as our foundation, it is our desire and wish that we all follow the Good Shepherd and follow his humble and meek example.


    Indeed, we are all good pastors, pastors of the Church, pastors of the family, and having the Good Shepherd before our eyes, we will be directed to the true shining Church of Christ. It is there that we will find comfort and, as members of Christ’s living body, helping and listening to each other, we shall overcome all difficulties and temptations.


    On the eve of the Christmas of our Savior, let us rejoice in the Mother of God and accept this saving message of the “coming of the King from heaven.” Let’s entrust all our pain and joy to the Child the incarnated Son of God, driven by the love of his Father.


    As I am imparting my heartfelt congratulations to all of you, honorable Brothers and beloved Children, I ask to cherish and glorify this coming year the family and its sacred concept with special care. It is with consolidated and saintly families that we shall build a healthy society and be able to face the challenges that are waiting for us.


    I assure you of my unceasing prayers to God, that His abundant heavenly graces may be poured out over all, to whom I offer as a pledge my patriarchal blessing, with a father’s love.



    Imparted from the Patriarchate in Beirut, Lebanon, December 23, 2021, in the 1st year of my Patriarchate

    Patriarch Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian