CWN - Armenia’s Catholics are eagerly awaiting the Pope’s apostolic journey later this month.

“We live in a climate of great expectation, especially among ordinary people,” Archbishop Raphaël Minassian told AsiaNews. “Even in the remotest villages people would like to participate in the event. Some people will walk more than an hour to reach the nearest bus stop, to get to the city to attend the papal Mass.”

Armenian Catholics are grateful to the Pope for “speaking so boldly before the world about the Armenian genocide of 1915,” and for paying tribute to Armenia as the “first Christian nation in history that bore witness to its faith for centuries in martyrdom,” the prelate added.

St. John Paul II visited the nation, which is 6% Catholic, in 2001. 93% of Armenians are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451.

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Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

According to the text, `We are the body of Christ and each of us is one of its members' (cf. 1 Cor. 12:27), we are said to be the body of Christ. We do not become this body through the loss of our own bodies; nor again because Christ's Body passes into us hypostatically or is divided into members; but rather because we conform to the likeness of the Lord's flesh by shaking off the corruption of sin. For just as Christ in His manhood was sinless by nature both in flesh and in soul, so we too who believe in Him, and have clothed ourselves in Him through the Spirit, can be without sin to Him if we so choose.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Century on Theology, Philokalia, V. 2