Prelate Delivers Invocation at California State Senate Armenian Genocide Commemoration

By the invitation of the California Armenian Legislative Caucus and the Armenian National Committee Western Region, on Monday, April 18, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, arrived in Sacramento to participate in the annual Advocacy Day organized by the ANCA-WR in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. His Eminence was joined by Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian, Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian, and Mr. Berj Apkarian, deacon at Holy Trinity Church of Fresno and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno. Hundreds of community activists and members from across California, including ANCA-WR supporters and Prelacy Schools’ students, gathered at the State Capitol for a day of meetings and events with elected officials.

The Prelate delivered the invocation at the California State Senate, as follows:

“Heavenly Father, we thank You for granting us this day to gather in the spirit of friendship and fellowship with the esteemed members of the California State Senate to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

As we remember the 1.5 million Armenians who perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, we remember also all past and present victims of bloodshed and violence, asking for Your comfort and healing for all who suffer in body, mind, and spirit. May You grant them strength, protection, and hope for better days, bring justice to all peoples, and establish Your love and peace in the hearts of all, for You are a gracious and compassionate Lord.

In this post-Centennial year, as we continue to carry the wounds inflicted on our ancestors and our nation, we place in You our faith and hope as we persist in our noble cause with the solidarity of friends such as the honorable members of the California State Legislature. We take this time to convey to them our gratitude for taking the time each year to pay homage to our holy martyrs and to all our friends in public office for standing on the side of the Armenian people. May You bless them abundantly for their principled stand and strengthen the will of all those who fight for truth, justice, and righteousness.

Lord Almighty we thank You for the privilege of living in this great nation we are proud to call home where we enjoy the virtues of liberty, justice, equality, and security, and we pray for a kinder and gentler world where all peoples of all faiths and ethnicities can live as we do, in peace, love, and fraternity.

May the souls of all victims of man’s inhumanity to man rest in peace, and may You keep us all in peace under Your loving care and mercy, we beseech You. Amen.”

Both the Senate and Assembly on this occasion unanimously passed AJR-34, a measure that, among other things, would designate the year 2016 as “State of California Year of Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923,” April 24, 2016 as “State of California Day of Commemoration of the 101st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923,” and would call upon the President of the United States and the United States Congress to formally and consistently reaffirm the historical truth that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people constituted genocide.

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