December 21, 2017
PRELATE’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
Ազատարար Փրկիչը
 «Եւ զայն կոչեց Յիսուս [1] » (Մտ 1.25)

Քրիստոսի ծննդեան յիշատակի այս օրերուն, երբ մեր միտքերը կ՚երթան քսան դարեր առաջ Յիսուսի ծննդեան հրաշալի դրուագին, պահ մը կ՚երեւակայեմ այն ուրախութիւնը, որ ունեցան իր ծնողները՝ Յովսէփ ու Մարիամ։ Ծնողական զգացումներու եւ ընտանեկան գալիք երջանկութեան պահն է, մանաւանդ երբ նկատի կ՚ունենանք յաջորդական դրուագներով աստուածային միջամտութիւնը– հրեշտակին աւետումը եւ Մարիամի յղութիւնը, անոր այցելութիւնը Եղիսաբէթի՝ Յովհաննէս Մկրտիչի մօր, եւ վերջապէս, պարզ մսուրի մը մէջ երկինքի թագաւորին ծնունդը։
Աստուածամայր Մարիամ իր օրհներգութեամբ գովաբանեց զԱստուած՝ ակնարկելով որ իր մէջ յղացուածը փրկութիւն պիտի բերէր մարդկութեան, հզօրները գահազրկելով եւ խոնարհները բարձրացնելով (Մեծացուսցէ):

Ու Մարիամ ծնաւ իր զաւակը եւ համաձայն հրեշտակին աւետումին՝ զայն կոչեց Յիսուս, Փրկիչ։ Հաւատացեալներու Ազատարարը։

Որպէս Հայ Եկեղեցւոյ զաւակ, Քրիստոսը մեր հաւատքին մէջ ընդունեցինք՝ հաւատալով մարդկութեան թէ անհատին փրկութեան։ Դարերով աղօթեցինք իրեն, անոր քարոզներն ու պատգամները դարձնելով ամենօրեայ մեր կեանքին զօրութիւնն ու նպատակը, ազգային մեր նկարագիրը դարբնելով քրիստոնէական հաւատքի սկզբունքներով։ Որպէս անհատներ, մեր անձերու փրկութեան համար աղօթեցինք ու աղաչեցինք՝ յաւիտենական կեանքի յոյսով լեցուն։ Բայց միեւնոյն ատեն, անհատի փրկութիւնը մեր հաւատքին մէջ եղաւ նաեւ հաւաքական, մեր ամբողջ ազգին փրկութեան յոյսը։ Յաւիտենականութիւնը, ազգային գոյատեւումը եւ անոր համար մեր նահատակութիւնը չունէին ուրիշ մղիչ ոյժ, եթէ ոչ սէրը հանդէպ Քրիստոսի եւ յոյսը՝ անոր հետ եւ միջոցաւ գտնելու ազգային մեր փրկութիւնը։ Մեր նուիրումն ու հաւատքի կենսագործութիւնը եղան հոգիի ազատութեան գերագոյն արտայայտութիւնը, եւ ի պահանջել հարկին, Քրիստոսի հետ ազատ ապրիլը եղաւ ազգային մեր «Հաւատամք»ը եւ հաւաքական մեր երթը։ Այսպէս ապրեցանք, այսպէս քարոզեցինք, այսպէս գոյատեւեցինք։

Մեր նշանաբանը եղաւ «Վասն հաւատոյ եւ վասն հայրենեաց», ինչպէս Վարդանանք յայտարարեցին եւ իրենց նահատակութեամբ ազգային ազատութիւնը գրկեցին։ Հոգիի ազատութեան մեր հաւատքը ապացուցուեցաւ մեր անձնուիրութեամբ, նահատակութեամբ ու յաղթանակով։

2018 տարուան առաջին այս օրերուն, տարուան տարեթիւը մեզի կը յուշէ հարիւր տարի առաջ ուրիշ զոհողութիւն մը, պայքար ու յաղթանակ մը։ Մայիս 28, 1918-ին, մեր ազգին պոռթկումը ուրիշ բան չէր, եթէ ոչ ազատութեան թռիչքը, ցեղասպանութենէն՝ ազգային խաչելութենէն ետք յարութիւնն ու յաղթանակը։ Դարերով ազգային մեր կեանքը՝ Քրիստոսի սիրով հարստացած ու զօրացած, մեր հերոսներն ու ժողովուրդը արտայայտեցին Հայրենիքին հանդէպ սիրով։ «Վասն հաւատոյ եւ հայրենեաց» անլռելի կանչը մղեց զանոնք գերագոյն զոհողութեան եւ փրկութեան։ Չէ՞ որ Քրիստոսի հանդէպ մեր հաւատքը փրկութեան ճամբան է։ Այո՛, նոյն այդ հաւատքը նահատակութեամբ սրբացած մեր հայրենիքին հանդէպ, մղեց մեր ժողովուրդը դէպի պայքարի դաշտ, հայրենիքի հանդէպ հաւատքի շօշափելի վկայութեան եւ յաղթանակի։ Հոգիի ազատութիւնը սաւառնեցաւ արիւնով ու քրտինքով նուիրականացած մեր հայրենի հողերուն վրայ, որուն համար նահատակութիւնը՝ զինուորին թէ շինականին, համարուեցաւ պատիւ եւ այդ պատիւին պաշտպանութիւնը՝ փառաւորում։

Մայիսեան պայծառ եւ յաւիտենական պատգամ ունեցող հարիւրամեակին առիթով, անհրաժեշտ է համազգային ընդառաջումով նուիրուիլ ազատութեան գաղափարին հիմքը կազմող քրիստոնէական մեր հաւատքին, եւ անոր միջոցաւ միս ու ջիղ կազմած, նկարագիր կազմած մեր ազգային ազատութեան ոգիին։ Անմեռ է այդ ազատութիւնը, եւ մեր հաւատքի Աստուծոյն նման՝ յաւիտենական։ Եւ այս ճշմարտութեան հաւատարիմ հայորդիներս, այսօր կոչուած ենք մնալու նոյն հաւատարմութեան մէջ, Քրիստոսի ծնունդով մեզի բերուած փրկութիւնը դարձնելու ուխտ՝ Մայիսեան յաղթանակով շահուած մեր ազգին փրկութեան։ Եւ ինչպէս Քրիստոսի հանդէպ անհաւատարմութիւնը իր դիմաց ունի Աստուծոյ դատաստանը, նոյնպէս ալ հայրենիքին հանդէպ անտարբերութիւնը ունի մեր ազգին դատաստանը։

Ուստի, Յիսուսի ծննդեան յիշատակի այս օրերուն, մեր պատգամն է, որ ազգովին հաւատարիմ մնանք մեր հաւատքի ճշմարտութեանց, ապրինք Յիսուսով, մեր Փրկիչով եւ ազգովին նուիրուինք մեր Հայրենիքի հզօրացման ու յաւերժութեան։

Եւ այն ատեն, թող Նոր Տարին եւ Սուրբ Ծնունդը շնորհաւոր ըլլայ բոլորիս։
  
Աղօթարար՝
 
    
ՕՇԱԿԱՆ ԱՐՔԵՊԻՍԿՈՊՈՍ
Առաջնորդ Ամերիկայի Արեւելեան Թեմին
1 Յունուար, 2018  

The Liberator Savior
“And he named him Jesus.” (Mt 1:25)
           
During these days of remembrance of the birth of Christ, our thoughts go back twenty centuries ago to the miraculous event of the birth of Jesus, and I envision the joy of his parents Joseph and Mary. It is a time of parental emotions and family happiness ahead, especially when we consider God’s intervention on future events—the annunciation of the angel and Mary’s pregnancy, her visit to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and finally the birth of the heavenly king in a simple manger.

           Mother of God Mary praised God by alluding that the one conceived in her will bring salvation to humankind by dethroning the powerful and elevating the meek. (Magnificat)

           And Mary gave birth to her child and in keeping with the message of the angel, named him Jesus—Savior, the liberator of the faithful.

           As children of the Armenian Church, we accepted Christ into our faith believing in the salvation of humankind as well as salvation of individuals. For centuries we prayed to Him, turning His sermons and commandments into the strength and purpose of our everyday lives and we forged the principles of Christianity on our national character. As individuals we beseeched and prayed for our own salvation filled with the hope of eternal life. But at the same time individual salvation in our faith also became collective—the hope of salvation for our entire nation. Eternal life and the survival of our nation and our martyrdom had no other power but the love of Christ and the hope to find the salvation of our nation with Him and by Him. Our dedication and fidelity to our faith became the supreme expression of our spirit of freedom, and by necessity living in freedom with Christ became our faith and our national “Creed” and our collective course. This is how we lived. This is how we preached. This is how we survived.

           Our motto became, “For the sake of faith and for the sake of fatherland,” just as the Vartanank proclaimed and embraced national freedom through their martyrdom. With the freedom of the soul our faith became our devotion, martyrdom, and victory.

           During these inaugural days of the New Year, the date 2018 takes us back 100 years ago to another sacrifice, struggle, and victory. Our nation’s uprising on May 28, 1918, was nothing else if not the wings of freedom after the genocide, our resurrection and victory after our national crucifixion. For centuries our national life was enriched and strengthened with the love of Christ, and our heroes and people proclaimed their love of the fatherland. For the sake of faith and fatherland the unsilencable call compelled them to the supreme sacrifice and salvation. Is not our faith in Christ the road to salvation? Yes, that same faith, sanctified by martyrdom, pressed our people to go toward the field of struggle with emotions of faithful witness and victory. The freedom of the soul hovered over the blood and sweat consecrated on our ancestral soil for which martyrdom for the soldier and the peasant earned honor and in defense of that honor—glory.

           On the occasion of the 100 th anniversary, with its glorious and eternal message, it is necessary to be dedicated as a nation to our Christian faith that formed our concept of freedom, and gave life and image of our spirit of national freedom. That freedom is immortal, and like the God of our faith, is eternal. And we the faithful children of this truth are today called upon to remain in the same faithfulness, to turn the salvation given to us by Christ’s birth into an oath for our national salvation that we won with the victory in May. And just as unfaithfulness to Christ is faced by God’s judgment, so also indifference to the fatherland is faced by our nation’s judgment.

           Therefore, during these days of remembrance of the birth of Jesus, our message is that we, as a nation, must be dedicated to the truths of our faith, and live with Jesus our Savior, and as a nation be dedicated to the strength and immortality of our fatherland.

           And then, may the New Year and Holy Nativity be joyful for all of us.


Prayerfully,

                                                                       ARCHBISHOP OSHAGAN
                                                                       Prelate
                                                                       Armenian Apostolic Church of America
                                                                       (Eastern Prelacy)
January 1, 2018
CHRISTMAS: DECEMBER 25 OR JANUARY 6?
This Monday is December 25—Christmas for most of the Christian world. Originally all of Christendom celebrated Epiphany on January 6. (Epiphany was a celebration of the birth, the baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, the First Miracle at the Wedding of Cana, and the visit of the Magi). The gradual change to December 25 began in Rome in the 4 th century to coincide with a pre-Christian holiday. December 25 was officially adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451—a Council the Armenians did not attend and never accepted. To this day the Armenian Church has remained faithful to the original date of January 6. Of course, the actual date of Jesus’ birth is unknown and both traditions are centuries old. What is important is the spirit and meaning of the celebration. 
YOUTH MINISTRY DEPARTMENT FACILITATES TRAINING
Last Saturday, the Prelacy’s Youth Ministry Director, Annie Ovanessian, facilitated a youth ministry representatives’ regional training session at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Eight participants from St. Sarkis and one from St. Illuminator’s Cathedral attended the four hour
session.

During the training, Mrs. Ovanessian helped parish representatives further understand the objectives set forth by the National Representative Assembly several years ago. By highlighting the objectives and explaining the process with which the current initiatives have been established, Mrs. Ovanessian guided participants through the specific YDisciple youthministry program materials. YDisciple, an established youth ministry format designed by the Augustine Institute, a Colorado based Catholic resource network, provides a framework under which parish youth ministry representatives can engage youth with relevant subject matters in small, gender specific groups. These multimedia conversation starters recently have been edited by the Prelacy youth ministry department to better reflect the Gospel according to the
rich and unique expression of the Armenian Apostolic faith.

 “Youth ministry is more than just another program for our young people,” stated, Mrs. Ovanessian. “Rather, it’s an opportunity for youth to enter into a dialogue with the church to see how our faith in Christ can serve us not only in our daily lives but moreover be the very lifeline that guides us in our daily choices and experiences. The framework established by YDisciple truly offers our parish youth leaders the tools necessary to engage our youth.”

Saturday’s session marks the third such regional training conducted since October. To date, church representatives from seven different parishes have completed the four hour training. Of these parishes, three parishes have already begun using the materials with their youth. “The initial feedback seems to be quite favorable. Youth Ministry leaders find it to be user friendly and the youth are engaged with the materials,” commented Mrs. Ovanessian. Der Hrant Kevorkian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Detroit, Michigan, after launching the first session of the program with the youth in his parish noted, “We had great feedback, the teenagers loved the layout of the program, and how the discussions flow. They also commented on the video and liked the way the topic was presented. Some were impatient and excited and wanted
to go into lesson two.”

Mrs. Ovanessian looks forward to assisting all Prelacy parishes in launching youth ministry programs. She remains available to brainstorm with parishes to see how youth ministry can meet the unique needs of each parish and looks forward to offer continued support towards those efforts. Youth Ministry parish liaisons and parishioners alike are welcome to contact Mrs. Ovanessian at a.ovanessian@armenianprelacy.org with any inquires.
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, December 24, Fifth Sunday of Advent are: Isaiah 41:4-14; 2 Hebrews 7:11-25; Luke 19:12-28.


Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

It is ever more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual (for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.

This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their office without an oath, but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, You are a priest forever’”—accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Furthermore, the former priests were many in numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:11-25)


***

So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back. But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, “And you, rule over five cities. Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest,’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!) I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’” After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. (Luke 19:12-28)


For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

DAVID THE PROPHET KING; HOLY APOSTLE JAMES
This Saturday (December 23) the Armenian Church commemorates David the Prophet King and the Holy Apostle James the Brother of the Lord.

David was the youngest of eight brothers and was brought up to be a shepherd where he learned courage, tenderness, and caring. David became the second King of Israel. In the Bible, the name David belongs solely to him, which indicates the unique place he had as an ancestor and forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the New Testament there are more than 50 references to David, including the title given to Jesus—Son of David. David was a poet and the author of some of the Psalms.

James the Apostle, called “Brother of the Lord,” probably because of his close relationship with Jesus, was granted a special appearance of the Lord after the Resurrection. He is believed to have been a first cousin of the Lord, or as some biblical scholars have suggested, a son of Joseph. After the Resurrection and the Ascension, while the other apostles scattered all over the world, James remained in Jerusalem where he served as the Bishop and became a leading spokesman of the early church.

ST. STEPHEN, FIRST DEACON AND FIRST MARTYR
On Monday (December 25) the Armenian Church commemorates St. Stephen, the first deacon and proto-martyr. After Christ’s ascension, the apostles went about spreading the Word. It soon became apparent that more people were needed to serve the growing church community. Seven worthy individuals were called upon to serve the Holy Altar and called “deacons” ( sarkavag ). The most noteworthy of the seven was Stephen, described as a “man full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5). The Feast of St. Stephen is a popular and important commemoration in the Armenian Church; it is a day to honor all deacons of the church. Stephen became the first martyr of the Church and is therefore called the “proto-martyr.” The only information about his life and death is in the Book of Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:8 and 8:2).
THE HOLY APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL
On Tuesday (December 26), the Armenian Church remembers the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, perhaps the two individuals who had the greatest role in the growth and spread of Christianity. After the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Jesus came to Peter and asked him to tell the other apostles about His appearance and give them His message (Luke 24:34-35). Peter was renowned for his oratory skills, and he used his talent to spread the Word. He preached in Rome and founded the church there. He is considered to be the first Bishop of Rome. According to tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord. He was buried in Rome and his relics are enshrined under the high altar of the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

Paul (Saul) was born in Tarsus in Cilicia. He was an oppressor of the early Christians until he converted while on the road to Damascus he saw a vision of a bright light and a voice saying, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Enter the City and you will be told what to do,” (Acts 9:4-6; 26:12-16). Saul was baptized and renamed Paul and he went on to become the greatest preacher of the new religion, traveling and writing extensively. Many theologians credit him for shaping the future of the Church. His fourteen epistles comprise more than one-third of the New Testament, not including the Book of Acts that although written by Luke, is primarily an account of Paul’s travels and preaching.
PLEASE SPONSOR A CHILD
During the past 25 years one of the most pervasive tragedies felt by Armenia as a consequence of natural disaster and war was the emergence of a large orphan population. The 1988 earthquake and the war in the defense and liberation of Artsakh resulted in an orphan crisis on a scale not seen since the 1915 Genocide.
 
The continuing economic hardship that has faced the vast majority of Armenian families in Armenia and Artsakh compounded the problem. More than two decades ago the Eastern Prelacy began its Orphan Sponsorship Program. In the early years the orphans were all children of soldiers who died or were seriously wounded. Later the program was expanded to include any needy child in Armenia or Artsakh who had lost one or both parents.
 
During this joyous season of the New Year and Christmas, what better gift could there be than helping a needy child? Please consider becoming a sponsor in the Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship Program. You can do it online through the Prelacy’s web page ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). If you prefer to talk to a live (and nice!) person, contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 and ask for Sophie.




HOMENETMEN COMMITTEE MEMBERS VISIT PRELATE
Archbishop Oshagan holds the plaque presented to him by the newly elected Homenetmen Eastern Regional Committee yesterday at the Prelacy. 
The newly elected Eastern Regional Committee members of Homenetmen visited the Prelacy yesterday to congratulate Archbishop Oshagan on the occasion of the 50 th anniversary of his ordination. During the visit they discussed various plans for next year’s Homenetmen 100 th anniversary celebration in the United States and Armenia. His Eminence commended the work of Homenetmen and its dedication to the community. Before departing the Homenetmen regional committee presented Srpazan with a plaque in appreciation of his leadership.

ARTSAKH REPRESENTATIVE AT CATHEDRAL
At the Cathedral dinner/reception on December 14, left to right, are Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations, Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of Artsakh to the United States, and Dr. Herand Markarian, Master of Ceremonies.
St. Illuminator's Cathedral in New York City hosted a dinner-reception on December 14 in honor of Artsakh Permanent Representative to the U.S., Robert Avetisyan. This was Mr. Avetisyan's first official visit to the Cathedral.

The dinner at the Cathedral was by invitation, with the attendance of over 65 guests, including Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General; Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations; and community organization representatives and members.
On behalf of the Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, welcomed guests. Dr. Herand Markarian served as the master of ceremonies and made an illustrated presentation about Artsakh. Afterwards, Mr. Avetisyan spoke with high appreciation about Armenian American support for Artsakh, and presented benefactor Ms. Azadouhi Zaroukian with a commemorative medal of Artsakh.
After dinner, Mr. Mnatsakanyan and Bishop Anoushavan spoke, and called upon everyone to always remain faithful to the just cause of Artsakh. Mr. Mnatsakanyan presented the "Arshile Gorky" medal of the Ministry of Diaspora to painter Emma Grigorian. Members of the "Huyser" ensemble offered a medley of patriotic songs.
ARMENIAN WOUNDED HEROES FUND
Last Thursday afternoon Robert Avetisyan, Permanent representative of Artsakh to the United States and Razmig Arzoumanian, Managing Director of Lincoln International, visited the Prelacy where they met with the Vicar General, Bishop Anoushavan, Dr. Vartan Matiossian, director of the Armenian National Education Committee, and Mrs. Iris Papazian, the Prelacy’s Director of Communications. Mr. Arzoumanian described the work of the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund that provides life-saving military first-aid kits to soldiers, as well as physical and mental rehabilitation, and jobs and education programs for veterans. The first-aid kits save many lives by providing the capability for immediate treatment of severe wounds. 
Death of Mekertich Armen (December 22, 1972)

Mekertich Armen was a less known, even though well-regarded member of the generation of Armenian intellectuals that became victim of Stalinism.

He was born Mekertich Harutiunian on December 27, 1906, in Alexandropol (nowadays Gumri), in a family of artisans. He studied in a local school and then in the gymnasium for boys and in one of the schools opened by the Near East Relief in the city. Years later, he would graduate from the State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, where he studied at the section of script writing for two years.

In 1922-1923 he was a boy scout (scoutism was still tolerated in Soviet Armenia in the early 1920s), and in 1923 published his first poem in the local newspaper Panvor . In 1925 Mekertich Armen was one of the founding members of the short-lived “October” union of writers of Leninakan (Gumri’s name in Soviet times), started by Gurgen Mahari (1903-1969) along with Soghomon Tarontsi (1904-1971), Gegham Sarian (1902-1976), Sarmen (1902-1980), and others. In 1925 he moved to Yerevan and entered another short-lived union of writers, called “November” and founded by Yeghishe Charents (1897-1937). He worked for a few years in the editorial offices of the journals Grakan Dirkerum and Yeritasard Bolshevik . He would also be the secretary of the artistic council of Haykino (the Armenian film studios, later known as Armenfilm).

By 1934, when he became a member of the newly founded Writers Union of Armenia, Mekertich Armen had already published several books of prose, among them the novels Yerevan (1931) and Scout 89 (1933).  His remarkable novel The Fountain of Heghnar (1935), set in pre-Soviet times, put him among the best writers of his generation.

However, the political purges that swept the Soviet Union in 1936-1938 did not spare the political and intellectual class of Armenia. Along with many members of his generation (Charents, Axel Bakunts, Gurgen Mahari, Vagharshag Norents, Soghomon Tarontsi, among many others), Mekertich Armen was arrested in 1937 as an “enemy of the people” (the usual slogan of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes to tarnish its potential and real opponents) and exiled to a labor camp, where he remained until 1945.

Upon surviving the hardships of exile, he returned to Yerevan and continued his literary activities. He published new novels and collections of short stories, but none repeated the success of The Fountain of Heghnar, which had been printed twice before his arrest and had three more editions from 1955 to 1961. In the short interlude of Nikita Khruschev’s period of the “thaw,” when the crimes of Stalin were denounced and some works reflecting the Siberian labor camps were allowed to be published, Armen published a collection of short stories, They Asked Me to Deliver to You (1964), that brought some recognition once again. In the last years of his life, he was named Emeritus Worker of Culture of Soviet Armenia (1967) and his collected works were published in five volumes (1967-1971). The Fountain of Heghnar was the subject of two films (“The Fountain of Heghnar,” Arman Manarian, 1971, Yerevan, and “The Spring,” Arby Ovanessian, 1972, Iran).

Mekertich Armen passed away on December 22, 1972, in Yerevan.


Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).
PLEASE REMEMBER
SYRIAN ARMENIAN COMMUNITY NEEDS OUR HELP MORE THAN EVER

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.

THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.

DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.

TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE AND SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
OR IF YOU PREFER YOU MAY MAIL YOUR DONATION TO:

Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
A PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 30
The Prelacy is pleased to announce a 14-day pilgrimage to Jerusalem beginning on April 2 through April 15, 2018. Departure is on Monday, April 2, the day after Easter in the U.S. Because Jerusalem follows the Julian (old) calendar, pilgrims will celebrate Easter in Jerusalem on Sunday, April 8.

EXHIBIT AT MORGAN OF MEDIEVAL BINDINGS
We told you about this when it first opened in September. We remind you again about this exhibit on view until January 7 at the Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue (at 36 th Street), New York City, “Magnificent Gems: Medieval Treasure Bindings,” is a beautiful display of book covers encrusted with gold, silver, and gemstones that were a luxury in the Middle Ages. Few survive, and some of the finest examples are in the Morgan’s collection. Included in the exhibit are three of the Morgan Library’s 17 th century Armenian silver bindings from Kayseri (one is pictured above).

Dr. Sylvie L. Merian, Scholar and Reader Services Librarian at the Morgan, is an expert on medieval book bindings, especially those produced in Armenian workshops. Also on view is a copy of the first printed Armenian Bible, produced in Amsterdam in 1666. The Bible is one of two copies held by the Zohrab Information Center at the Eastern Diocese in New York.

As noted the exhibit will be on view until January 7, 2018. The Morgan (a short walk from Grand Central or Penn Station) is open Tuesday through Thursday 10:30 am to 5 pm; Friday 10:30 am to 9 pm; Saturday 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday 11 am to 6 pm. Closed on Christmas (December 25) and New Years Day.
FROM THE PRELACY BOOKSTORE
This is a large luxurious towel to receive the newly baptized infant. Pure white 100% cotton with beautiful gold embroidering in Armenian and English. This is a treasure that can be kept as a memento and passed on to the next generation.
$75.00 plus shipping & handling

To order contact the Prelacy by email ( books@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810).


THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
The twelve days of Christmas begins on December 25 and continues to January 6. This is a wonderful period to live the true meaning of Christmas that is love, peace, hope, and goodwill. These are the finest gifts to give to those close to you and especially for those who are elderly, ill, alone, or mourning the loss of a relative or friend. Your telephone call or visit will mean more to that person than the most expensive gift from the finest store. Merry Christmas.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810..

December 17 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Sunday School Christmas Pageant following church services.

December 24 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Christmas Sing-a-long in the church sanctuary following services.

January 20, 2018 —St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 60 th Anniversary Celebration.

March 18, 2018 —35 th Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Prelacy Ladies Guild. Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57 th Street at 7 th Avenue, Sunday, March 18 at 2 pm.

May 9-12, 2018 —Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly, hosted by St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts. The one-day clergy conference will take place on Wednesday, May 9. The full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 10, at 11 am and will conclude on Saturday, May 12, at noon.

October 20, 2018 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring world famous Onnik Dinkjian and the All Stars. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. Details to follow. www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .
The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: email@armenianprelacy.org

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at  http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/