September 5, 2013
Archbishop Oshagan has directed all parishes of the Eastern Prelacy to offer a special prayer service this Sunday, September 8, for the protection  and deliverance of the people in Syria, especially our large Syrian Armenian community that has been suffering and struggling for more than two years and is now facing the threat of even greater danger and adversity. His Eminence said “Let us pray that our Lord and Savior will lead us away from war and violence and guide us toward brotherhood, harmony, and charity.”
Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the Divine Liturgy this Sunday at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia. Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of the parish, will celebrate the Liturgy.

Archbishop Oshagan attended the 80th annual Olympics of the Armenian Youth Federation last Sunday, in Washington, DC, where His Eminence delivered the opening prayer and message on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the youth organization.
In his message, the Prelate praised the “visionary leaders who recognized the imperative need to bring together Armenian American youth into an organization of their own where they could help formulate their own destiny.” His Eminence expressed his long-standing association with the AYF noting, “Since beginning my service as Prelate and during my student days I attended the Olympics, and enjoyed being a teacher and counselor at Camp Haiastan.”
“You can be proud of your accomplishments during the past 80 years,” His Eminence told the large gathering, “but, the future is filled with newer and more difficult challenges, so the continued growth and vitality of the AYF is important for the progress and advancement of our community. Be prepared to confront and conquer those challenges. The power of youth is in your hands. In less than two years we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide…. As the inheritors of our heroic posterity, your participation is crucial for the pursuit of remembrance, recognition, and reparation. Work together and use your collective power and knowledge to fight for the rights of humanity that have been denied.”

The seminar for teachers sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) will take place this Saturday, September 7, at the Prelacy headquarters in Manhattan. Several lectures and an open discussion are scheduled.

St. Illuminator Cathedral and the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) is sponsoring a series of seminars, “A Brief Introduction to Modern Armenian Literature,” to be presented by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, ANEC Executive Director, beginning this evening, Thursday, September 5, and continuing every Thursday through to October 3, at the Cathedral’s  Pashalian Hall.  The seminars will comprise an introduction, and independent overviews of Western Armenian, Eastern Armenian, Diasporan, and Soviet and post-Soviet Armenian literature. For more information click here.

A screening of The Priestess, a film by the award-winning Armenian director and actor, Vigen Chaldranyan, took place in Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York, last Thursday. The event was co-sponsored by the Cathedral, “Voice of Armenians” TV, and the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of New York.
The film, written by Vigen Chaldranyan  and Anahit Aghasarian, was inspired by the story of “an anonymous woman” mentioned in Agathangelos’ History of Armenia. Guests attending the screening included Ambassador Garen Nazarian, V. Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishyan, Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Rev. Fr. Sevag Gabrielyan, Rev. Fr. Bedros Kadehjian, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian.
Vigen Chaldranyan, director and actor of the film “The Priestess,” during the Q&A session that followed the screening.
Bible readings for Sunday, September 8, Third Sunday after the Assumption, (Eve of the Fast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross), are: Isaiah 14:1-11; 2 Corinthians 7:4-16; Mark 7:31-37. Readings for the Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God are:  Proverbs 31:29-31; Isaiah 61:9; Galatians 3:24-29; Matthew 1:1-17.
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:24-29)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, September 7, the Armenian Church commemorates the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 325, and the 318 Church Fathers who attended. The Council was convened by Emperor Constantine. The Armenian Church participated in this Council and contributed toward the victory of orthodoxy. Aristakes, son of Gregory the Illuminator, represented the Armenian Church. The Council is mentioned in the writings of Moses of Khoren and Agathangelos. In later centuries and in all their doctrinal writings, the Fathers of the Armenian Church referred to the Council of Nicaea with veneration and the Nicene Creed (Havatamk) was incorporated into the Armenian Liturgy. The Council condemned Arianism that denied the full divinity of Christ, and proclaimed that the orthodox position is the belief in “one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God and Father, Only Begotten, of the substance of the Father. God from God, light from light, true God, begotten and not made,” (from the Nicene Creed recited during the Armenian Divine Liturgy).

This Sunday, September 8, is the Paregentan of the Fast leading to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Khachveratz), which is next Sunday. Because the Exaltation is a Tabernacle Feast, it is preceded by a week (Monday to Friday) of fasting.
This Saturday, September 7, is the Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God. The birth of Mary is not recorded in the Bible. The account of this event comes to us from other writings that are not part of the New Testament. According to tradition, Joachim and Anna were faithful and pious, waiting for the promised Messiah. They were elderly and childless. They prayed to God for a child and were blessed with a daughter they named Mary, who would become the Mother of the Messiah.
Last week His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, met with the newly elected members of the Board of the Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF) led by its President Aram Malian, and the President of Haigazian University. His Holiness received his guests at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya, Lebanon.
After being informed of the AEF Board’s plan of action, His Holiness thanked them for their new initiatives that respond to the educational and social needs of Armenians in Lebanon. The Catholicos spoke to them about the important role of Armenian institutions in aiding Lebanese and Syrian
Later on the same day His Holiness met with the President of Haigazian University, Rev. Dr. Paul Haydostian. They discussed the ways in which the conflicts in the region are challenging the educational activities of universities. The Catholicos commended the leadership of the president and asked him to convey his appreciation to the members of the university’s board.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of St. Sahak Partev
(September 7, 439)
Sahak Partev was the tenth Catholicos of the Armenian Church for a period of almost fifty years, with interruptions, but this was not the main reason he was sanctified by the Armenian Church.
He was born on September 29, 348, and was the son of another important Catholicos, Nerses the Great (353-373); his mother belonged to the Mamikonian family. The first Catholicoi were all descendants of St. Gregory the Illuminator. Some of the Catholicoi had been married and had children before consecrating to religious life; their wives would leave world life afterwards and become nuns.
The future head of the Church was educated in schools in Caesarea, Alexandria, and Constantinople. He knew Greek, Syriac, and Persian. He was elected Catholicos in 387 and worked actively with king Khosrov IV to restore the unity of Greater Armenia, which had divided between the Persian and Byzantine empires in the same year. After the dethronement and exile of Khosrov III (388) by the Persian king, Sahak I was also deprived of the patriarchal throne in 389. The efforts of the next king, Vramshapuh (388-414), who was Khosrov’s brother, made it possible to restore the Catholicos in his position.
Sahak Partev had a fundamental role, together with Vramshapuh, in supporting the work of St. Mesrop Mashtots that led to the invention of the Armenian alphabet at the beginning of the fifth century, as well as to the creation of a school network to teach the new alphabet and the cultural work that created the Golden Age of Armenian literature in that century.
Historian Ghazar Parpetsi wrote that Mesrop Mashtots and the other translators, whenever needed to make any phonetic comparisons between the Armenian and Greek languages, took their questions to Sahak I, because he had received a classical education and had a comprehensive knowledge of phonetics and rhetorical commentary, and was also well versed in philosophy.
Sahak I worked to arrange and organize the Armenian calendar of religious festivities. He wrote many rules related to the ecclesiastic and secular classes, the officials, marriage, and other issues. He composed various liturgical hymns and prayers, and he played a significant role in the translation of the Bible, which was completed in 435.
The Catholicos wrote polemical letters against various sects, as well as letters to the Byzantine emperor Thedosius II, the Patriarch Proclus of Constantinople, bishops, and a Byzantine governor. In these letters, the Catholicos, together with Mashtots, presented the orthodox position of the Armenian Church after the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431). The letter to Proclus, in particular, was read at the Council of Constantinople (553), after the letter of Cyril of Alexandria, as proof of orthodoxy.
Sahak Partev passed away on September 7, 439, in the village of Pelrots, in the province of Bagrevant, and was buried in the city of Ashtishat, in the region of Taron. With his death the line of St. Gregory the Illuminator came to an end.
The Armenian Church remembers Sahak Partev’s memory twice a year. The first on the Saturday eight days before the Great Carnival (Barekentan), between January 24 and February 28, and the second on the Thursday following the fourth Sunday of Pentecost (between June 1 and July 16), when he is remembered along with Mesrop Mashtots as the Holy Translators.
Note: Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (

The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Thank you for your help.
September 5 to October 3—“A Brief Introduction to Modern Armenian Literature,” a series of five seminars presented on Thursdays, 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) and the Cathedral. Presented by Vartan Matiossian, Ph.D.
September 7—Teachers’ Seminar sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at the Prelacy offices, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
September 8—Picnic Festival, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 12:30 to 5:30 pm, featuring Armenian music by Leon Janikian, Jason Naroian, Joe Kouyoumjian, John Arzigian, along with Siroun Dance Group. Armenian food and pastries. For details
September 13—Opera Encore sponsored by the Armenian Relief Society Ani Chapter, Providence, Rhode Island, at the Wannamoisett Country Club, 96 Hoyt Avenue, Rumford, at 6 pm. Featured performers of Opera Providence are Yeghishe Manucharyan, tenor, and Victoria Avetisyan, mezzo-soprano, singing traditional and folk Armenian music, as well as traditional and Armenian opera selections. Full course dinner will be served. Proceeds will benefit relief efforts for the Syrian Armenian community. Tickets: $50 per person. For information/reservations contact Esther Kalajian, (401)595-7991 ( or Joyce Yeremian, (401) 354-8770 (
September 15—Book Presentation at Pashalian Hall, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York, of “One Church One Nation” by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian.
September 20—St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin presents “Flavors of the Mediterranean” wine tasting fundraiser at Uncorkt in downtown Racine, 6 – 8 pm. Featured wines from France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Traditional mezza plates will be served. In addition to supporting the church, 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Mother and Child center in Armenia. For tickets/information contact: Denise Lansing, 262-639-8204; Mary M. Olson, 262-681-1535. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple.
September 21—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral’s “Huyser” Music Ensemble presents “The Sound of Freedom,” a celebration of independence, at the Frank Sinatra School of Arts, Tony Bennett Concert Hall, 35-12 35th Avenue, Astoria, New York, at 7:30 pm. Tickets $25—$35. For information: 212-689-5880.
September 22—Presentation and book signing of A Place Far Away, a compelling new novel by Vahan Zanoyan, presented by the Agnouni, Bergen, Shake, and Spitak Chapters of the Armenian Relief Society, 2 pm at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Refreshments served. All net proceeds from the book are being donated to organizations devoted to protecting children and fighting human trafficking in Armenia. Proceeds from book sales at this event will also benefit the ARS.
September 26—Presentation and signing of A Place Far Away, a powerful portrayal of the realities of human trafficking in Armenia, 7 pm  at Kavookjian Auditorium, St. Vartan Cathedral, 630 Second Avenue, New York City. Sponsored by the Armenian Studies program of the Department of Youth and Education, the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, and the Fund for Armenian Relief. All proceeds from the book are being donated to organizations devoted to protecting children and fighting human trafficking.
September 26—“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” sponsored by the Ladies Guild of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Peter and Irene Vosbikian, Moorestown, New Jersey. Sumptuous brunch, vendors, Chinese auction, $50 per person. For reservations for the brunch contact: Mari Degirmenci 610-353-9199; Ashkhen Setrakian 610-527-3119; Cissy DerHagopian 856-231-9447; Theresa Hovnanian 856-231-1544. Transportation available from St. Gregory Church; departing 9:30 am and return trip at 3 pm. For transportation reservations ($20 per person) contact: Helen Guveyian 610-742-5871.
October 5—Symposium “Armenian Women as Artists and Mothers,” 2-6 pm, sponsored by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at St. Illuminator Cathedral Pashalian Hall, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, in celebration of the Year of the Mother of the Armenian Family. Lecturers: Jennifer Manoukian (Columbia University), “Zabel Yessayan: Mother and Activist,”; Vartan Matiossian (ANEC), “Armen Ohanian: An Armenian Woman of the World,” and Melissa Bilal (Columbia University), “Lullabies and Tears: On Armenian Grandmothers and Granddaughters in Istanbul.”
October 19—Armenian Friends of America presents “Hye Kef 5” featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Greg Takvorian, Ken Kalajian, Ron Raphaelian, and Jay Baronian, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit all Armenian churches in Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Tickets: $40 adults; $30 students; includes individually-served mezza platters. For information/reservations: John Arzigian 603-560-3826; Sandy Boroyan 978-251-8687; Scott Sahagian 617-699-3581; Peter Gulezian 978-375-1616.
October 20—St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin, 75th Anniversary Celebration to begin with Badarak at 10 am at the church, followed by a gala “tasting banquet” and program at the Racine Marriott. For information: Mary M. Olson, 262-681-1535.
October 27—90th anniversary celebration of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy at the church’s Founders Hall, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19128.
November 1 & 2—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 57th Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm, at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown. Delicious meals (take-out available), Armenian pastries, Arts and Crafts, Books, Raffles, Attic Treasures, Auctions, and more. For information: 617-924-7562.
November 10—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, presents The Way We Were Ensemble of New York/New Jersey in their performance of “The Gamavors,” at 2 pm in the church hall. Coffee and reception with cast will follow performance. Tickets: $20 adults; $10 children under 12. For tickets: Mary Derderian, or 781-762-4253.
November 15-16-17—Annual Bazaar, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
November 16 & 17—Annual ART IN FALL Exhibition featuring national and international Armenian artists, Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. Fine art including oils, mixed media, photography, and sculpture in classic, modern, and contemporary styles by 27 artists. Opening Reception, Saturday, 7 to 10 pm. Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres, $30 donation.  Sunday, 1 to 4 pm, Refreshments, $15 donation.
November 17—Banquet and Program celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Mother,” organized by the Eastern Prelacy, at Terrace in the Park, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Watch for details.
December 7—Annual Church Bazaar of St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, will take place at Christian Reform Church, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville. For information: 508-234-3677.
February 24-26, 2014—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.
March 28, 2014—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm.
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