Monday, 9 October 2006 - A letter of salutation to the Armenian General Benevolent Union on its 100 year anniversary
The merits earned by the Armenian General Benevolent Union throughout the past hundred years, can not in any way leave Us indifferent, because if We try to look back We would certainly notice that for the past century all Armenians, no matter where and with what ratio, have directly or indirectly benefited from the generosity of this Union, which in Our new history and during various stages has often played a decisive and definite role in the persistence of Our people.
Originating in Cairo, AGBU has previously taken part in the re-establishment of Armenians in the Diaspora, helping them in; moral and educational improvement, economical uplifting and in all their essential needs in the cultural, educational and social fields. This Union has been a solid and constant presence for all Armenians, especially when Our People have felt the need to build and protect their identity and existence, particularly the Armenian Church and the School.
We have no doubt that in the present times, AGBU has set its priorities in fortifying the State of Armenia and assuring the welfare and prosperity of its people. Yet, the Union will carry on with its benefactor mission in all Armenian colonies in order they would be able to face the various dangers threatening their identity and belonging. As a means to reach to the needs of Our people, an incentive strengthening our Church, culture, education throughout various forms of activities, this role itself takes new forms and shapes under the newly created global circumstances facing the whirling global phenomenon of globalization. However, AGBU has been capable of adapting its projects, activities and goals according to the present ruling demands and circumstances.
AGBU has cultivated the concept of helping and reaching to each other among our afflicted nation, which comes from the Christian belief “Help yourself so that God will help you” and that the salvation of a nation exists in its unity, a principle and an ideology applicable nowadays more than ever.
Truly, AGBU is an organization that unites the entire Armenians and is called to bond Our people indiscriminately among all sections, gathering the representatives of all generations; the rich and the poor, the intellectual and the illiterate, the idealist and the pious and all those hearts that beat with the weight of Armenians’ utmost benefit and progress. It is called to put its abilities and means in uniting Our beloved nation. A century of continuous work is a witness that AGBU has always remained truthful in its mission and goals and has deserved people’s trust and confidence.
We are convinced that as long as Our people have an organization such as AGBU supporting the Church and the School, We will be able to defeat all the coming obstacles. With this strong belief and conviction, Our prayers and blessing will be perpetual upon this centennial Union.
Nerses Bedros XIX
Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholics