August 27, 2020
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The Prelacy thanks all parishioners and friends for their generous response to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I’s appeal to support our Lebanese Armenian brethren as they rebuild homes, churches, schools and community centers following the devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4 and amid a grave political and economic crisis.
Cross Island Parkway is one of the major highways in Queens, New York, which connects the Kennedy Airport to Throgs Neck Bridge and Interstate Highway 95. Those who are familiar with the area know that there is a recreation path going from Northern Boulevard to Throgs Neck Bridge. Every day, after my office hours, whenever my schedule permits, I ride my bicycle for 12 miles, and along with exercise I enjoy a gorgeous ocean sight. A couple of days ago, I noticed an inscription on biker’s lane: BE LOVE.

Of course, it was not the first time that I was reading this word. Love is the first affectionate care and is one of the essentials in our life, beside breathing and nourishment. Yet, it brought a fresh outlook in my mindset. Since our birth, we look forward to be loved, to behave with kindness, understanding, forgiveness, etc. Yet do we think also to “be love,” to be kind, to be understanding and bring change in others’ lives? I don’t know whether it was the ocean breeze or the blue sky murmuring the dynamic words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is” (Mt 5:47), “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36).

Indeed, this message reminds us that as the image of God, our Creator has planted in us an unlimited potentiality continuously to surpass ourselves and be the source of good. I firmly believe that when we become the source of love, kindness, understanding and other virtues, it doesn’t bring change only in others’ life, but amazingly it transforms us too and fills us with miraculous inner joy of superb accomplishment and new understanding of our earthly existence.

I am tremendously grateful to the Almighty Lord that with the cooperation of our Pastors and the generous donations of our parishioners and friends as of today we have received a total of $202,023 dollars, and we have made the third transfer in the legally allowed amount of $50,000 dollars. I would like to remind you that all Lebanon Relief donations are distributed to our sisters and brothers in Lebanon by the newly established Central Coordinating Committee composed of all Armenian denominations, political parties and organizations.

May God richly bless us all.

Prelate, Eastern Prelacy of the United States
To see the third list of donations, click here
To see the general list of donations, click here
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I called for the speedy reconstruction of the homes destroyed in the blast in Beirut early this month. With around $600,000 raised in donations from all over the world, Catholicos Aram said family houses should have the priority in the rebuilding efforts, followed only by churches, schools and community centers. The Lebanese Armenian Community Reconstruction Committee will also ensure that all donations be channeled through it in order to distribute it evenly among the needy members of the community. 

Aram I made these comments in a meeting of the Religious and Lay Councils of the National General Assembly at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya. He briefly described his activities following the explosion –including his visits to the damaged neighborhoods and churches, his fundraising appeal and the support letters he received as well as the follow up on the work carried out by the reconstruction committee headed by Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate of the Lebanese Armenians. 

The Catholicos praised the work done so far by Arch. Shahe and the committee he heads. He also noted the willingness of the prelacies, as well as community organizations and individuals, in Armenia, Artsakh and throughout the world to help the Lebanese Armenians. The reconstruction committee, in which the entire Lebanese Armenian community is represented, has already started to operate. All work must be done on the initiative of the committee or under its sponsorship, His Holiness emphasized. In other words, the commendable aid efforts by organizations or individuals must be coordinated with the committee to allow for an organized and efficient reconstruction process.

The Catholicosate has opened a special bank account in Geneva, Switzerland, for donations in support of the Armenian community of Lebanon. All donations will be transferred directly and immediately to the special accounts opened by the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon in four banks in Lebanon. Approximately $600,000 have been raised so far for the reconstruction effort, which have already been transferred from Geneva to the bank accounts opened by the Prelacy of Lebanon. The blast on August 4 in the port of Beirut, caused by a stockpile of more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, killed at least 179 people, including 13 Lebanese Armenians. Thousands were injured in the explosion, including 250 Lebanese Armenians, with an estimated $10 billion in damage.  

An ecumenical prayer service dedicated to Lebanon and the victims and survivors of the catastrophic explosion of August 4 was held on Tuesday, August 25, at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, president of CAMECT (Christian Arab and Middle Eastern Churches Together), was among the participants in the service. His Eminence delivered the following message:
“On behalf of CAMECT Family - Christian Arab Middle East Churches Together, I would like to express our deepest concern over the devastating explosion that happened on August 4 in Beirut, Lebanon. Each and every day, when I receive and hear individual stories of tragedy, my heart continues to bleed, for it reminds me of the tragedy of the Twin Towers in 2001 and reopens that wound in my heart, when men and women from all walks of life instantly became the victims of a terrible tragedy.

We are comforted by how goodness is alive in society, and that governments and individuals are reaching out to mitigate the unbearable pain of those who are suffering due to the loss of their loved ones and their own injuries, as well as the affliction of those who are displaced or have lost their jobs.

We would also like to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters who since last September are crossing the valley of hopelessness and uncertainty due to the social and economic crisis, which has deepened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid all these catastrophes, as a proud son of the blessed country of the cedars where our Lord Jesus Christ walked (Mk 7:24), my heart is showered with comfort and gratefulness. Out of many pictures of calamities I have seen, the one which touched my heart the most and reflects the true spirit of Lebanese people shows a disabled gentleman holding a broom as he is cleaning the streets. Yes, this is the authentic picture that mirrors the essence of Lebanese citizens. Indeed, the world can disable our external means, but cannot disable our spirit, evil can spread calamities and distress, yet the good brings forth transforming energy and joy. This picture is a call to all of us: those who are in the homeland and in the diaspora that above all our differences, dissatisfaction, and complaints, we should rally around our beloved country, as our National Anthem inspires us: “Kuluneh lilwatan, lilula, lilaelem - All of us, for our Country, for our Glory and Flag,” in order to rise like the phoenix from the ashes and to rebuild “Lubnann el Akhdar - the Green Lebanon,” with evergreen faith, hope and love.

With all my spiritual brothers of CAMECT Family we commit ourselves to do our utmost in this regard. We pray that justice, peace and prosperity prevail soon in the country of the cedars, and that the citizens of Lebanon continue to make their positive input for the progress of the global family.

May God bless us all and lead in His wisdom.”
In the photo, Mr. Gevorgyan and Archbishop Tanielian, flanked from left to right by Mr. Armen Morian, Chairman of the Board of St. Illuminator's Cathedral; Rev. Fr. Lakissian, Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian; Ms. Neiri Amirian, Advisor, and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Vice-Chairman of the Board.
This Sunday, August 23, following Divine Liturgy, a special Requiem Service was held in every church of the Eastern Prelacy for the repose of the souls of the brave Armenian soldiers of Tavush—Garush Hambardzumyan, Sos Elbakyan, Smbat Gabrielyan, Grisha Matevosyan, Artur Muradyan and Ashot Mikaelyan—who faced with heroism the massive attack undertaken against our homeland. 

The Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral was presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, and officiated by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor. It was attended by Mr. Albert Gevorgyan, advisor to the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations.

In his sermon, Archbishop Anoushavan referred to the July victory obtained with the blood of new martyrs and said:

“An enemy armed with technologically advanced weaponry retreated thanks to the Armenian Army that, with love for the homeland and military genius, achieved another landmark victory in our modern era, beginning with 1918, through 1994 and 2016.

“Glory to God, who provides for our people with His sacred right hand.

“Blessings to the Armenian soldier, who confronts the attacks of the inhuman enemy.”

The Prelate then prayed for “peace to the souls of the martyrs, who entered the ranks of the many braves who devoted their life on the altar of the liberation and defense of the Armenian people.

“Solace to all family members who shared their life with such heroes.

“Respect to all our mothers who give birth to such mortal immortals.

“Borrowing from an Armenian song, we repeat, ‘We will never forget you and we will always remember you,’ and moreover, ‘We will walk for centuries and centuries with our wounds and our songs.’ Yes, we will walk victoriously, well aware that the spiritual presence of our heroes walks along with us to make sure that our God-granted, paradisiacal land of Armenia remains always a cradle of hope and light for humankind.”

After the Divine Liturgy, the Prelate asked Mr. Gevorgyan to convey the sincere prayers and wishes, the deep admiration, and the unconditional support of our Prelacy and constituency to the Armenian authorities, the Armenian army and the families of the martyrs.
On Sunday, August 30, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Pastor, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

On Sunday, August 23, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, presided over the Divine Liturgy St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy. You can read the Prelate’s sermon below:

The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, the Birth Giver of God, over a period of nine days. The Church expresses her reverence not only for the earthly, exemplary life of St. Mary, the one glorified by God, but also offers thanks and praise for her constant intercession and care for the Church, whose first member she became through her obedience and submission to God’s will for the redemption of mankind.

Indeed, the celebration of the Assumption is not only the acclamation of St. Mary’s magnificent earthly life, which came to its end in the tomb, but rather it is the exaltation of this humble earthling, who even though she had gone through the general process of passing from this life, having died and having been buried, yet was privileged so that her body was elevated into heaven without decay. The Assumption is not the appraisal of an ended life journey but rather is the beginning of a new phase, and actually the glorious continuation of the same blissful journey which started in the world and is continued in God’s eternity for the benefit of mankind.

This precious feast is revered in all of the Apostolic Churches. Within the limits of a sermon it is not possible to discuss the multidimensional aspects of Mariology, yet for the sake of affirming our Biblical faith in celebrating this awesome feast, we would like to make a few remarks. It is true that the Dormition and Assumption are not recorded in Holy Scripture, yet there is no reason to doubt their validity as a significant episode within the Divine Redemptive plan. The prime goal of all New Testament authors, as commissioned on the Mount of Galilee, was to spread the Good News about the Crucified and Risen Lord. Again, the Acts of the Apostles, the only concise, biblical, early Church history book, was aimed to cover the post-Resurrection decade by recording the infancy of the new-born church, which was persecuted but survived like her Founder.

Within these parameters, we are grateful that the early Church fathers who preached the Good News while defending our Christian faith, and who meticulously collected and canonized the Holy Scriptures. likewise transmitted to us the oral traditions and the living teaching for building up our faith and piety.

If the character of the feast may raise any doubt, in the Old Testament there are two prominent figures, Enoch, a patriarch, and Elijah, a prophet who transcended natural law and ascended into heaven through Divine intervention. Also, just as Elijah, together with Moses, was seen next to the transfigured Lord by the three Apostles, likewise the Holy Virgin Mary throughout the centuries has appeared in different parts of the world.

She appeared in Guadalupe, Mexico, 1531; in Guanare, Venezuela, 1652; in Lourdes, France, 1858; and in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Thus empowered by the Almighty Lord, she has showered the blessing of healing, comfort and hope upon all believers who have trusted in the fulfillment of the life-giving promises of our Heavenly Father.

And finally, if there is any argument that our reverence shifts the focus of believers from Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ upon Holy Virgin Mary, this is not true, because the teaching of the Church is very clear. We do not worship Mary as a divinity next to the Holy Trinity, but rather we hold her as a role model who obeyed and surrendered her life to God’s will. We beseech her to pray with us and for us and “to present our supplication to her Son and our Lord Jesus Christ”, as the Armenian Hymn formulates its most succinctly.
Having briefly clarified the foundation of our celebration, let us move forward to enjoy the fellowship of this humble Maiden of God, St. Mary. As soon as she received the very unusual but blessed news of the Annunciation, Mary hastened to meet her relative Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, as we read in today’s Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39-56. Before conveying her news, as soon as Mary enters the house and greets Elizabeth, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and welcomes her by saying,

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb… blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord said to her will be accomplished.” Immediately, the baby John leapt in his mother Elizabeth’s womb, and joined this spiritual symphony of salvation, love, peace and joy.

I would like to share just one thought inspired by this awesome and uplifting scene: the impact of sharing. I believe that the benefit may apply to all generations and individuals from all walks of life.

We read in the Gospel that Mary hastened to share the good news, most probably also her inner world full of surprises, with Elizabeth, whose caring behavior strengthened her in her humble but decisive decision to submit herself to God’s will. Mary was blessed not only for the privilege above but also having in her life Elizabeth, a godly person, who being led by the Holy Spirit became her good companion and counselor. Had Elizabeth not been a God-centered person, she could be tempted to lead the innocent maiden to be exposed to public disgrace and consequently be stoned in punishment. The sharing of thoughts, worries, emotions, and aspirations is an authentic aspect of rational beings. It is very critical to choose the person to whom we are unveiling our inner world, or to trust the person whose counsel and advice we ask. A truly trustworthy person who happens to be part of our inner circle is always there to help and to guide us when others who pretend to be our friends may change the entire course of our lives for the worse. Therefore, when we share, we must be very careful.

The Book of Proverbs instructs us that human wisdom by itself is not enough unless it is embellished with the Divine shield. The opening sentence says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

The Bible provides us many examples in this regard. Our foremother Eve was deceived by the advice of the serpent, and we all are aware of its deplorable consequences. We read in First King 12 an important episode. When King Solomon’s son Rehoboam succeeds his father, he takes counsel with the older men to solve a crisis.

Unfortunately, he disregards their good advice and asks the opinion of his young mates who direct him totally in the wrong direction. Therefore, asking Divine guidance or considering the advice of godly people is always to our benefit.

We are all invited, dear children of God, and mostly young sisters of the Holy Virgin Mary, to follow in her footsteps by submitting ourselves to God’s will. Be alert in choosing right from wrong, and in discerning good from evil. Do not be confused and trapped by the snares of our adversary. Surely our eternal sister and mother, the Holy Virgin Mary, being our faithful companion, will constantly encourage us to realize God’s will in our lives in order to partake of her gracious bliss, here and after, and praise the Almighty Lord Forever. Amen

Prelate, Eastern Prelacy of the United States
Bible readings for Sunday, August 30, Second Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, Feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos are: Isaiah 9:8-19; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Mark 4:35-41.
Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”


2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

In accordance with the Armenian Liturgical calendar, today the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of St. Jeremiah, one of the major prophets of the Bible. Jeremiah received his calling during a period of spiritual renewal among the Hebrew people. But, the death of King Josiah and the weak policies of his successors resulted in the conquest of their holy city, Jerusalem, and the exile of their nation. The Old Testament book of Jeremiah, as well as the book of Lamentations, chronicles this story. Although full of sorrow (he is known as the “weeping prophet”), Jeremiah’s words are Godly and hopeful. A timely lesson for all of us.
We can only imagine the joy of finding possessions of the Holy Mother. This Sunday, August 30, the second Sunday after Assumption, is the feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos. Because there are no relics of the Holy Mother’s earthly body (she was assumed into Heaven), her personal belongings became the object of devotion and veneration. During the time of the early Church, when Christians were persecuted, her possessions were kept hidden and secret. Her belt was the first item to be discovered in Jerusalem in the fifth century. This discovery is the basis for one of the eight feast days in the Armenian liturgical calendar devoted to the Holy Mother.
Next Tuesday, September 1, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Prophets Ezekiel, Ezra, and Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Ezekiel prophesied for about 28 years. The Book of Ezekiel, composed of 48 chapters, is ranked third among the great prophets. It is full of rich imagery, prophetic visions, and allegories. Ezra was a learned and pious priest in Babylon. The Book of Ezra describes the return to Zion following the Babylonian captivity. Zechariah , is the father of John the Baptist. He was married to Elizabeth, and John was born to them in their old age. The promise of a son was conveyed to Zechariah by an angel.

Also remembered this week are the following saints:
Saturday, August 29: The Holy Apostles Thomas, James, and Simon.
Monday, August 31: St. Stepanos Ulnia, Koharinos, Radigos, Dzamitos, Dookigos.
Monday, August 24, the Eastern Prelacy concluded a 3-part Bible study via Zoom on St. Paul’s Letter to Philemon, conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education. Over 40 people attended. The participants were eager for another Zoom Bible Study soon. So, stay tuned.
On Friday, August 21, the last Siamanto summer class of the 2019-2020 school year took place via Zoom. Students responded enthusiastically to these summer classes, which helped teachers gain new insights into this new educational approach.

The three teachers who developed the Armenian as Second Language program, or ASL, Silva Bedian, Narineh Abrimian and Sossi Essajanian, have discussed changes and additions to the program after it was put into practice in the Siamanto classes. The ASL program is already available to Armenian schools on Hye Teachers’ Hub ( for the teachers of the Armenian National Educational Council as well as on the Prelacy’s website for the benefit of the public.

In the initial group session, students listened intently as Ms. Essajanian spoke about Armenian communities around the world, this time focusing on the Chinese Armenian one.

Students then went into different virtual classrooms, followed by a final group session, during which Ms. Bedian engaged the class with a language game, making the young attendees look forward to the resumption of the Siamanto classes on Saturdays, as customary.

The next class, the first one of the 2020-21 school year, is on September 26 at 10:30 am, with students from all the states under the ANEC jurisdiction.

Donations were sent this week through St. Illuminator’s Zarukian Fund to the families of the six Armenian soldiers who fell in combat during the Azerbaijani aggression in July in the Armenian province of Tavush: Garush Hambardzumyan, Sos Elbakyan, Smbat Gabrielyan, Grisha Matevosyan, Artur Muradyan and Ashot Mikaelyan. A message of consolation and gratitude by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, was also conveyed to the families of the martyred soldiers, who received the material contributions through the office of the St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization.
The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s projects in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from children addressed to their actual or potential sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads.

This week’s letter is from Roman,* who lives in the province of Tavush, the focus of the last Azeri aggression, and is awaiting to be sponsored.
*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Dear Sponsor,

I am the mother of Roman. Roman’s family is comprised of four people. He has a 9-year-old brother, a 75-year-old grandmother, and a 42-year-old mother.

Dear Sponsor, I am very grateful to you for standing by my child and helping him through the hurdles and thorns of his life’s journey. Your assistance, which Roman will be receiving every month from now on, first of all, raises our spirits; then, it solves concrete financial problems related to raising my son. As Roman’s mother, I am immensely grateful to you, because in our present situation even one additional penny counts, and God sent your support to us in the most difficult time of our lives. May God bless and protect you and your family.


The program of the St. Nerses the Great Organization includes both orphans up to the age of 18 and orphans who become students at a higher education institution upon turning 18. There are children of all ages in the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. Now we also have orphans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider sponsoring a child. For quick and easy online sponsorship of minors up to the age of 18, please click here. Alternatively, for the sponsorship of both minors and university students you may also contact the Prelacy by email ( or telephone (212-689-7810).
The drawing of the Prelacy’s annual raffle is on September 12, 2020. The top prize is $5,000; second prize is $2,000; and third, fourth, and fifth prizes are $1,000.

We always like to point out that in this raffle there are no losers, because all the money raised benefits the Prelacy’s educational and religious programs.

Tickets cost $100 each. For information, please contact your local parish or the Prelacy office ( or 212-689-7810).
The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) has just published an edited volume by Bedross Der Matossian with a preface by Richard G. Hovannisian, titled The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender, and Diplomacy. It is the second in the newly launched SAS Publication Series and the tenth in the Armenian Series of The Press at California State University, Fresno, edited by Barlow Der Mugrdechian. Subvention for the publication of the book was provided by the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The peer-reviewed volume is dedicated to Richard G. Hovannisian for his outstanding contribution to the field of Armenian Studies over the past half century.
This edited volume provides a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach to studying the fascinating history of the Republic. Through an analysis of the politics, gender, and diplomacy of the period, the volume enriches our understanding of the short-lived Republic, which played a crucial role in guaranteeing the perseverance of Armenian identity, and ultimately laying the foundation for the modern Republic of Armenia.
Historian Bedross Der Matossian is an Associate Professor of Middle East History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and President of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) This volume was inspired by a 2018 conference titled “Innovative Approaches to the History of the First Republic of Armenia, 1918-1920,” organized by the Society for Armenian Studies and the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy and a participant in that conference, has contributed a paper entitled “The Recognition of the First Republic of Armenia in South America (1918-1920).” The list of contributors, illustrated with rare images from the period, also includes Bedross Der Matossian, Richard G. Hovannisian, Houri Berberian, Ari Şekeryan, Seda D. Ohanian, Rubina Peroomian, Jakub Osiecki, Garabet K. Moumdjian, and George Bournoutian.

Copies of The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender, and Diplomacy are available for purchase from the Prelacy Bookstore ( Please contact the bookstore at 212-689-7810 or by e-mail at
The goal of this massive volume is to offer the reader historically accurate and aesthetically refined accounts of the history, treasures, and mission of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in word and image by renowned specialists in the various disciplines. Part I (five articles) is dedicated mainly to the history of Cilicia and the Catholicosate, and Part Two (seven articles), to the treasures preserved in the Cilicia Museum, such as manuscripts, old printed books, coins, metalwork, liturgical vestments, paintings, and carpets. The articles appear in their original language (English and French).
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore ( or 212-689-7810)


 Birth of Sumpad Boroyan (August 28, 1875)
General Sumpad, also known by the pseudonym of Makhluto, was one of the figures of the fedayee movement and then had an active participation in the events of 1914-1921.

His actual name was Sumpad Boroyan. He was born on August 28, 1875, in the neighborhood of St. Marine, in Mush. He graduated from the local monastery school. He entered the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in 1900. He cooperated with famous freedom fighters like General Antranig and Hrayr, and liquidated one of the traitors who had betrayed Aghpiur Serop.

He participated in the battle of the Monastery of the Apostles (Mush) in 1901 with Antranig and the second rebellion of Sasun in 1904 with Antranig and Kevork Chavush. After its demise, he continued the fight against the Turkish troops in the plain of Mush and then in Aghtamar (July 1904) under Antranig’s command. Sumpad went afterwards to the Caucasus and participated in the Armeno-Turkish conflict of 1905-1906, leading the self-defense fights of Ghamarlu (Artashat). Afterwards, following a resolution of the ARF, he crossed into Iran and participated in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1908-1912 , fighting against the counterrevolutionary forces in the region of Urmia.

He returned to normal life in Mush in 1912-1914, where he got married. However, his plans for a peaceful living were disrupted by World War I. He went to the Caucasus, where he became adjutant of Antranig in the first battalion of volunteers. He participated in the battle of Dilman (April 1915), the liberation of Bitlis (February 1916), and many other clashes.

In May 1917, during the first congress of Western Armenians in Tiflis, Sumpad was elected member of the National Council of Western Armenians. Continuing his military activities, he was named commander of the Armenian regiment active in Alashkert in the summer of 1917. In 1918 he was part of Antranig’s striking unit and fought in Jalaloghli and Erzerum (February-March 1918), and then participated in the crucial battle of Gharakilise (May 1918). Afterwards, he crossed Eastern Armenia from northeast to southwest with the unit and participated in the occupation of the bridge of Julfa and Khoy.

In July 1918, Antranig and Sumpad went to Zangezur, participating in the self-defense combats against the Turko-Tatar attacks. In the fall, Sumpad parted ways with Antranig and returned to Yerevan, where he was elected member of the Western Armenian Executive Body.

In the summer of 1919, Sumpad headed the military unit of the Sasun fighters to the Eastern shore of Lake Sevan to defend the frontline region of the Republic of Armenia from the attacks of Azerbaijan. His unit then participated in the Armeno-Turkish war in the fall of 1920. After the fall of Alexandropol in November 1920, Sumpad, who had already earned the rank of general, retreated to the heights of Aragatz, where he was seriously wounded during combats and moved to Yerevan.

During the February 1921 revolt, Sumpad commanded the Armenian forces descending on Yerevan from Talin and Ashtarak. After collaborating with Garegin Nezhdeh in the region of Daralageaz, he crossed into Iran with the retreating forces. He settled for a while in Tabriz, where he remarried, and then moved to Egypt and the United States, where he established his residence in Fresno, California.

General Sumpad was not used to peaceful life. In 1933 he moved to Marseilles (France), where he cooperated with pro-Soviet elements. He published a volume of memoirs in 1936. During World War II, he participated in the French Resistance.

He returned to Armenia in 1947 during the repatriation. The veteran fedayee ended his days as a guard in the Komitas Park of Yerevan. He passed away on March 20, 1956. According to his last desire, he was buried in the courtyard of the church of St. Gayane, near Echmiadzin, besides Khent (Samson Ter-Boghosian), the hero of Raffi’s novel The Fool. A street of Yerevan has been named after General Sumpad. The novel of Khachik Dashtents The Call of the Peasants, posthumously published in 1979, was dedicated to his life.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( 
Crossroads welcomes your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian), as well as parish news, photographs, and calendar items. Remember that the deadline for submitting items is Tuesday evenings. Please write to

(Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style)
September 12 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy to meet by videoconference, hosted by the Prelacy.
September 26 —First Siamanto Academy class of the 2020-21 school year at 10:30 am. For further information and to register, please visit:
October 4 —Save the date. St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT, 95th Anniversary Banquet.

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