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LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (AP) -- A vast and voracious wildfire that has burned at least 80 homes in central California killed an elderly couple as they tried to flee, authorities said....
Gyumri, Armenia, Jun 25, 2016 / 03:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During the first major Mass of his three-day visit to Armenia, Pope Francis said faith is not a thing of the past, like an artifact in a museum. Rather, it is kept alive through continuous encounters with Christ.Faith “is born and reborn from a life-giving encounter with Jesus, from experiencing how his mercy illumines every situation in our lives,” the Pope said during his June 25 homily in the northwestern city of Gyurmi.The pontiff warned against the temptation to reduce faith to something that belongs in the past, as if it “were a beautiful illuminated book to be kept in a museum.”“Once it is locked up in the archives of history, faith loses its power to transform, its living beauty, its positive openness to all,” he said.The Pope acknowledged the faith of the people of Armenia, the first country to embrace Christianity, and the site of a bloody persecution against Christians 100 years...
(Vatican Radio) During his visit to the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex – which commemorates the ‘Metz Yeghern’ (Armenian for ‘Great Evil’, the massacre of Armenians in the early part of the twentieth century) – Pope Francis signed his name in the ‘book of honour’.He also left a message in memory of his visit. “I pray here,” he said, “with sorrow in my heart, that there might never more be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant tot he beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peaceand consolation.”Afterwards he wrote, “May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must not be either watered down or forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.”
(Vatican Radio) On Saturday 25th of June, the second day of his Apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis participated in a prayer service at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial to the Metz Yeghern, or 'Great Evil', as Armenians refer to the 1915 massacres. A dark chapter for this nation which Pope Francis has referred to as 'genocide'.Listen to Veronica Scarisbrick's report:  The monument built in the 1960’s during the Soviet era has become since independence a symbol of national renaissance. While here Pope Francis prayed at length. In a special way during an ecumenical prayer service, held in memory of those fallen in the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which consisted in the Our Father, the reading of two Biblical passages and an intercessory prayer.It was a moving ceremony during which Pope Francis also prayed in silence and  laid a wreath of flowers by the 44 metre column which symbolizes the rena...
(Vatican Radio)  Following celebration of Holy Mass in Varanans Square on Saturday morning, Pope Francis visited the convent and orphanage of Our Lady of Armenia - Boghossian Education Centre for lunch with around 60 hungry youngsters.The orphanage is run by the Congregation of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who also run the Diramyer Vocational School and a day-care center housed on the same campus.At the end of the visit, a photo opportunity with the orphans helped by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, benefactors, and several former residents of the orphanage along with their children provides a highlight to the event.The History of Our Lady of Armenia CenterWith the independence of Armenia, the dream of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception to serve in the homeland became a reality. Following the horrible earthquake of 1988, the Sisters had already come to Armenia to console the grief of our nation. Today, the Order has an orphan...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Vartanàns Square in Gyumri, Armenia, on Saturday morning, with the Ordinary of Eastern Europe for Armenian Catholics, Archbishop Raphael Minassian, and in the presence of the Catholicos of all Armenians, Karekin II.The second city of Armenia, Gyumri is known both as an industrial center and a major cultural hub. It was also badly damaged in the massive 1988 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people.Catholicos Karekin welcomed the Holy Father warmly, explaining, “Gyumri is one of those historical towns of Armenia where centuries-old Armenican Christian values have flourished,” and introducing the people of Gyumri as, “bearers of a beautiful tradition of Christian brotherly coexistence.”In his homily, the Holy Father recalled the devastation, giving thanks “for all that has been rebuilt,” and focused on three “stable foundations” on which to build the moral and spiritual f...
(Vatican Radio)  At the conclusion of Mass in Gyumri, Armenia on Saturday, Pope Francis took a moment to greet “all those who with such generosity and practical charity are helping our brothers and sisters in need.”  In particular, the Pontiff recalled what is known as “the Pope’s Hospital” desired by Pope John Paul II himself and which opened 25 years ago in Ashotsk.  “It was born of the heart of Saint John Paul II,” Pope Francis observed, “and it continues to be an important presence close to those who are suffering.”Below, please find Pope Francis’ remarks upon conclusion of Holy Mass in Gyumri, Armenia:At the conclusion of this celebration, I wish to express my deep gratitude to Catholicos Karekin II and to Archbishop Minassian for their gracious words.  I also thank Patriarch Ghabroyan and the Bishops present, as well as the priests and the Authorities who have warmly welcomed us.I thank all of yo...
(Vatican Radio)   Speaking at Holy Mass Saturday in Gyumri, Armenia, Pope Francis recalled the “terrible devastation” wrought by the massive 1988 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and gave thanks “for all that has been rebuilt.”In his Homily, the Pope offered three “stable foundations upon which we can tirelessly build and rebuild the Christian life.”The first foundation, he said, is “memory:” to “recall what the Lord has done in and for us” and that “He has chosen us, loved us, called us and forgiven us.”  “The memory of a people” like those in Armenia, also needs to be preserved the Pope added.  “Even in the face of tremendous adversity,” he stressed, God has “remembered your faithfulness to the Gospel… and all those who testified, even at the price of their blood, that God’s love is more precious than life itself.”Faith, the Ho...
(Vatican Radio) On the morning of  Saturday 25th of June during his homily at an open air Holy Mass in the north eastern Armenian city of Gyumri badly hit in 1988 by a massive earthquake Pope Francis highlighted the figure of St. Gregory of Narek. These are his exact words: "All the same, we might ask ourselves: how can we become merciful, with all the faults and failings that we see within ourselves and all about us?  I would like to appeal to one concrete example, a great herald of divine mercy, one to whom I wished to draw greater attention by making him a Doctor of the Universal Church: Saint Gregory of Narek, word and voice of Armenia.  It is hard to find his equal in the ability to plumb the depths of misery lodged in the human heart.  Yet he always balanced human weakness with God’s mercy, lifting up a heartfelt and tearful prayer of trust in the Lord who is “giver of gifts, root of goodness… voice of consolation, news of com...
(Vatican Radio)  World markets and world leaders have been shaken by Britain's decision to leave the European Union, adding to concerns over the European project's future. Populist leaders have now urged similar referendums in their own countries as the one that led to Britain's Brexit on Thursday.Listen to Stefan Bos' report: With the British pound declining and shares plunging in Europe, the United States and other markets, government leaders wonder who else may leave the European Union after Britain. If it's up to populist leaders, Brexit is the beginning of the unraveling of the EU.Dutch firebrand politician Geert Wilders who leads the anti-Islam PVV party told Vatican Radio that he wants a similar 'Nexit' vote in the Netherlands. "It's a historic day. The people of Britain have been teaching the elite in London and Brussels a lesson," he said."They choose for an independent Britain that can take care...
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