“What was the most joyful day of your life?”
“It is not easy to make a choice… Nevertheless, I would name two days.
The first was the day when I, at the age of twenty, devoted myself to serving God. I remember how I kneeled down before the altar, as our Armenian rite required.
At that moment, I experienced the greatest joy – I had a feeling that my personality as an individual had changed, transformed into a servant of humanity, a servant of our Armenian people that is part of the human family. It was the most significant and most joyful day of my life.
The second was the day when Armenia became a free, independent country. I speak about this not from narrowly nationalistic feelings… You must perceive this in the context of my life, which was devoted to serving the people and which was spent completely in the diaspora.
After so many centuries of subordination to other authorities, after what we call the “yoke” that put pressure on our people when we did not have our own country, and after our Church was subordinated to the tyranny of communism and the Soviet system… After all this, on the day when Armenia proclaimed its independence, I experienced very special, incomparable joy.
We, the Armenian diaspora, lived outside our country not at our own will, we were forced to do this… On that day, I said to myself – the dream of my ancestors came true! Therefore, this day was for me, as an Armenian, the most joyful.
Catholicos of All Armenians Vazgen I
An excerpt from the book “Human Life: The Meeting of Heaven and Earth” by Giovanni Guaita.