ife seems so short, but it remains full — full of pleasant and memorable events, and also painful and harrowing experiences. I lived a happy childhood, for my parents had done their best to make it interesting for us, their children. They began their married life after World War II and lived through hard times to make ends meet. Both my parents were true believers. I remember them praying before going to bed. When my grandfather — a former village priest — visited us, my parents always asked him to pray before dinner. I listened to him, but I did not understand the real essence of those prayers or the singing; I hadn’t heard them anywhere else, and no one ever told me about them. We lived in a state that denied religion; we were supposed to be atheists. Nothing on religion was taught at schools or universities.
p Flora Sargsyan, project manager for Caritas Armenia, works to assist Armenia’s elderly. t Aemenuhi Khachatrian, 73, has lived alone for more than six years in Yerevan.
But one thing remained in me: I had the sacred feeling of God’s being, and the understanding that one should believe in God. I remember visiting the local, half-ruined Kobayr Church, built in the 12th century. Here, we prayed and lighted beeswax candles my mother had made. I am truly thankful to my parents, and especially my grandpa, who used to tell a lot of stories and tales that were real lessons for me — lessons on being kind, doing everything with love and compassion, performing acts of good will for others. Pope Benedict said in our lives we are called to practice God’s
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CNEWA
The official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)