On #24April we remember the Metz Yeghern: the massacre of Armenians in 1915

Today, 24 April, is an occasion to remember the massacre of the Armenians in 1915-16. The Armenian was the second millet, the religious minority, to be recognised by the Ottomans in 1461. The Armenians were well integrated into the empire, despite the general system of inequality that they suffered. But this was not enough to avoid expulsion from the social fabric, persecution and extermination.

Two reflections on the Armenian massacre are worth mentioning in recent years: the book "A Window on the Massacre" by Marco Impagliazzo, which retraces the sad page of the end of a significant presence of the Armenian people in Turkey, and "The Massacre of the Christians. Mardin, Mardin, the Armenians and the end of a world" by Andrea Riccardi. It is a tribute to the heroism of faith of the Armenian people, the first to have embraced the Christian faith and who never hesitated to give their lives for the Gospel, as witnessed by the thousands of martyrs.
Today is also an opportunity to recall the direct interventions of the Holy See and the Vatican diplomatic network to stop the violence - denounced as early as 20 August 1915 by Apostolic Delegate Dolci - which soon became more and more pressing, making no distinction between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. It was Benedict XV, the only European leader at that time, who raised his voice loudly against the terrible massacre of the Armenians, amid the indifference of the European powers. Benedict XV's help was useful. "His work on behalf of the Armenian refugees represents one of the greatest humanitarian initiatives after the First World War," declared Andrea Riccardi.