December 27, 2018
As we prepare to welcome the New Year this Monday evening, we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2019 graced with the peace and brotherhood of our Lord and Savior whose birth and baptism we will celebrate on
Sunday, January 6.

Grigor Grigorian
The Prelate and Executive Council sadly received the news of the passing of Grigor Grigorian, a delegate to the World Assembly of the Holy See of Cilicia, and to the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly, and former Board member of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, on December 25. He is survived by his wife, Anahid, and daughters Armine and Lucy.

Funeral services, presided by Archbishop Anoushavan, will take place Saturday, December 29, at 9:45 am at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Interment service will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, New York.

The viewing and wake service will take place Friday, December 28, from 6 to 8 pm at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Illuminator’s Cathedral or the Orphans Program of the Eastern Prelacy. May he rest in the eternal peace of our Lord.

Continuing his visit to each church community, this weekend Archbishop Anoushavan will visit St. Stephen Church of New Britain/Hartford of Connecticut.
Archbishop Anoushavan, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, and Archpriest Fr. Vazken Bekiarian with the deacons and members of the choir.
The clergy with members of the Board of Trustees.
Continuing his visit to each church community, Archbishop Anoushavan visited the St. Stephen Church community in Watertown, Massachusetts last weekend. On Friday, December 21, Srpazan visited St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary and Nursery Schools where he visited each classroom and met the students. That evening, he was the special guest at a dinner with the church leadership.

On Saturday, he met with students of St. Stephen’s Armenian Saturday School of Greater Boston and presided over the annual Christmas party, which included a visit from Gaghant Baba.

On Sunday, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Stephen Church on the occasion of St. Stephen’s day. A special service with the deacons was performed at the conclusion of the Liturgy, after which Srpazan met with parishioners in the church hall during a special reception in his honor, which included a special congratulatory cake. During his visit, Anoushavan Srpazan paid personal visits to several families.
The Prelate visits St. Stephen Saturday Armenian School.

The Prelate, Der Antranig, and Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, with the principal Mrs. Houry Boyamian and 4 th and 5 th grade students of St. Stephen Elementary School.

Visiting with lower grade students of St. Stephen Elementary School.

Bible Readings for Sunday, December 30, Sixth Sunday of Advent and first day of the Fast of the Nativity are: Isaiah 51:15-52:3; Hebrews 13:18-25; Luke 22:24-30.

A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:24-30)


Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been set free, and if he comes in time, he will be with me when I see you. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of you. (Hebrews 13:18-25)

Saturday December 29 the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Apostle James and John the Evangelist, “Sons of Thunder.” Both held prominent positions among the twelve apostles, and they were called “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus (Mark 3:17) probably because they were impetuous and quick tempered as suggested in Luke 9:54 and Mark 10:35-41. James was a Galilean fisherman, who was called along with his brother John, to be two of the twelve apostles. They, together with Peter, formed the inner core among the twelve who were present at the raising of the daughter of Jarius, the Transfiguration, and the agony of Gethsemane. James was the first of the apostles to be martyred by order of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2). He is the patron saint of Spain and according to tradition his body was brought from Jerusalem to Santiago de Compostela, which became and continues to be a popular destination for pilgrims. John is also known as “The Divine.” It was to John that Jesus on the cross entrusted the care of his mother. Paul names Peter, John, and James as the “pillars” of the Church (Galatians 2:9).
Saturday, December 29, is the Paregentan or Eve of the Fast of the Nativity that leads us to the celebration of the birth and baptism of our Lord and Savior on January 6.
Death of Alexander Saroukhan 
(January 1, 1977)
Alexander Saroukhan (Saroukhanian) was among the most famous caricaturists and cartoonists of the Diaspora outside the Armenian realm, as he became a much-sought name in the Arab world.

Saroukhan was born in Ardanush, a town in the province of Batum (now Georgia) on October 1, 1898. At the age of two, his family moved to Batum, where he went to the Russian school at the age of seven. In 1909 the Saroukhan family moved to Constantinople, where Alexander and his brother Levon attended the school of the Viennese branch of the Mekhitarist Congregation. From 1910-1912 the Saroukhan brothers published a handwritten, four-page weekly called Ghughigo, with Levon as the writer and editor and Alexander as the caricaturist. Their publication was interrupted when their father decided to return to Batum after his commercial plans ended in failure, and they remained in Constantinople to continue their studies. The brothers would burn the copies of the weekly, for obvious reasons of safety, during the Armenian Genocide.

Saroukhan graduated in 1915 and found refuge in the school, which was under Austrian protection, during the war, together with their teachers and a group of students. After the armistice of Mudros (1918), he worked in the British army as a translator from Russian, Turkish, and German, and also as a scribe in a store. He started publishing caricatures in Armenian newspapers and magazines, particularly the satirical magazine Gavrosh (1921-1922). In 1922 he left Turkey and went to Europe to study at the section of graphics of the Art Academy of Vienna, finishing his studies in two years, instead of the usual four.

In 1924 Saroukhan left for Egypt with more than 125 pieces of his art work. He published the satiric magazine Armenian Cinema (1925-1926), where he also featured his drawings. He presented some of his works at an exhibition in Cairo (1927) and met Egyptian journalist Mohamed El-Tabii. They cooperated closely, becoming the most important and influential journalists in Egypt for twenty years. Saroukhan worked as a caricaturist for the widely circulated Rose el-Yusuf magazine, named after its founder, which El-Tabii edited. His drawing of Rose (aka Fatima) el-Yusuf, a Syrian woman journalist, was the first to appear on the cover of the magazine in March 1928. From then on, Saroukhan became known as a “political” caricaturist. He would draw the cover of the magazine until 1934.

His fame was also established through his character El-Masri Efendi (Egyptian Efendi in Arabic). However, because of a dispute between Rose el-Yusuf and Mohamad el-Tabii, Saroukhan left the magazine and joined the staff of Akher Sa’a (Last Hour), another Egyptian well-known paper, which el-Tabii published until 1946. In 1945 he published Cette guerre (This War in French, 1945), considered to be his finest book as it defined his talents to discover humor in criticism.

When El-Tabii sold Akher Sa’a to Akhbar El-Yom (Today’s News), Saroukhan moved to the new newspaper, where he worked until 1952, and then he went to work at the newspaper Akhbar (Today) until his death. He published a French-language humor magazine, La Caravane, from 1939-1942. He also contributed to Egypt's foreign language press, with cartoons in La Presse Egyptienne, Image, and the Armenian daily Arev. He had exhibitions in Yerevan (1968) and Montreal (1973), among other places.

Saroukhan drew more than 40,000 political, social, and humoristic caricatures. He was also active in the Armenian community life of Cairo. He published various collections of caricatures in Armenian, like We Through Our Lenses (1962) and Look at What You’re Saying! (1962), as well as the play We Don’t Know Armenian (1963). Among other publications, he also contributed his drawings to the republication of two classics of Armenian satirical literature: Yervant Odian’s Comrade Panchoonie (1938) and Hagop Baronian’s The Honorable Beggars (1962). His drawings were also used in the English translations of these books by Jack Antreassian, and in the Spanish translation of Comrade Panchoonie by Vartan Matiossian.

Saroukhan passed away in Cairo on January 1, 1977. He has had posthumous exhibitions of his drawings in Alexandria (2009), Athens (2017), Cairo (2018), and Liverpool (2018), and his memoirs were published in 2018 in Cairo.

William Saroyan by Alexander Saroukhan
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).
The fighting and bombs have stopped. Now the difficult process of rebuilding has started.
Please continue to keep the Armenian community in Syria in your prayers and pocket books.


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

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

Now through January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

December 31 —New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance (BYOB) sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey to welcome year 2019. Celebration begins at 8 pm, with Champagne celebration at midnight. Entertainment by Jaq Hagopian, Vicken Makoushian and Paul Maksoud. Adults $85; Children 7-15, $35; under 7 free. For more information and reservations contact church office: 201-943-2950. (SOLD OUT)

January 5 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, 5 pm, Armenian Christmas Eve Service in Sanctuary; 6 pm, Christmas Eve Family Night in the Hall. RSVP by January 3.

January 6 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Ladies Guild Annual Christmas Luncheon after church services. Food, fellowship, and entertainment. RSVP by December 27.

January 16 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, dinner 6 pm; Adult Bible Study 6:45 pm.

January 26 —Screening of the Armenian movie, “The Line,” about the Artsakh War, Community Center of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois.

March 17 —Annual Musical Armenia concert sponsored by Eastern Prelacy, 2 pm, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Watch for details.

May 5 —60 th anniversary of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey. SAVE THE DATE.

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