Karekin II’s Message on Victory Day and Liberation of Shushi Day

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Dear faithful Armenians,

It is with a joyful spirit that we convey our congratulations to you in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, on the luminous and bright occasions of Victory and Peace Day and the Liberation of Shushi Day.

This year we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the great victory of nations, whereby World War II was brought to an end. The glad tiding of peace resounded throughout the world on May 9. The sons and daughters of our people were also enveloped with joy and enlightened, as they had played their heroic role in the defeat of fascism, the struggle against violence and the securing of peace. In the struggle to liberate many countries, and on all battlefields and front lines of that war, our people dispersed throughout the world were also defending the peace and freedom of Armenia – the homeland of all Armenians. Truly, the war was a Patriotic War for the Armenian people as well.

Reflecting today once more on the war that resulted in humanity’s greatest victims and sacrifices, we also remember the triumphant path of the Armenian divisions, military talent and victories of Armenian commanders, the bravery and heroism of Armenian soldiers, the partisan units and resistance movements which included devoted sons and daughters of the Armenians. We recall the dedication and diligent efforts of our people in the villages and cities, through which military victories were achieved. Among the unforgettable memories of those difficult and heroic days is the diligent response by the Armenians of the Diaspora to the call of His Holiness Gevork VI, Catholicos of All Armenians, and the fundraising efforts whereby the quickly assembled tank divisions entered the battle at the first front lines of the war. Our people, though few in number, brought their great participation with all their strength to the war and sustained heavy losses, for the sake of our homeland and for the sake of a peaceful and prosperous world.

It is with these examples of patriotism and courage that the liberation struggle for Artsakh was born and achieved. The hope for the liberation of Artsakh never diminished in the soul of our people, including during those years when the victorious commanders, valiant officers and brave soldiers from Artsakh were fighting on the battlefields of the Second World War. The morning of the liberation of Shushi dawned with that same blessed hope, and today, we offer thanks to God that our faithful people are molding the victories of their peaceful lives in the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh. Through the unified efforts of our people, Shushi – the tradition-rich capital of Artsakh – is being rebuilt as well, with the constant and same unshakeable belief that the just right of the Armenians of Artsakh to live free will be universally recognized.

We pray today that all countries and peoples be reinforced in their will to exert efforts aimed at establishing peace in the world, the strengthening of collaboration and the creation of a prosperous life. We ask for the blessings of the Almighty for the entire world and our people, so that our goals are achieved and efforts succeed, for the sake of our native land and its development, a secure and good life everywhere, and for our present and future, bright with faith and flourishing with science and culture.