February 19, 2020
In Faith I Confess 23rd Prayer

Read by Haig Arek Makhoulian
St. Illuminator's Armenian Cathedral of New York, NY
VARTANANTZ
A DECISIVE BATTLE FOR THE ARMENIAN NATION
The newly consecrated icon of Sts. Vartanantz
“Avarayr for us is not one of the usual battles in Armenian history and it has never been: it was a battle that sent a message to our people, a decisive battle,” has said His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. “And today our people must listen with loyalty, devotion and dedication to the message of Vartanantz and Ghevontiants.”

Armenians worldwide celebrate the Feast of Vartanantz tomorrow, Thursday, February 20, commemorating the war between pagan Persia and Christian Armenia in 451. The king of Persia ordered all Christians under his rule to abandon Christianity and embrace Zoroastrianism. The Armenian clergy and leaders refused to follow this command and took an oath to fight the enemies of truth. Before the two armies met on the battlefield on the morning of May 26, 451, Vartan Mamigonian, the leader of the Armenian forces, addressed his soldiers:  “He who supposes that we put on Christianity like a garment, now realizes that as he cannot change the color of his skin, so he will perhaps never be able to accomplish his designs. For the foundations of our faith are set on the unshakeable rock, not on earth but above in heaven, yet by faith we are established in heaven where no one can reach the building of Christ not made by human hands.”
 
Vartan was the leader of the Armenians in the decisive battle on the plains of Avarayr, and although outnumbered, the Armenians put up a fierce resistance against the mighty Persian Empire. Vartan and many of his soldiers died, but the Persians sustained even greater casualties, and they recognized the strong commitment the Armenians had to their Christian faith. With this battle the Armenians clearly demonstrated that Christianity had become a part of their national identity.
 
The resistance to Persian rule continued for more than thirty years, led by Vahan Mamigonian, nephew of Vartan. Vahan successfully negotiated the Treaty of Nvarsag in 484, the earliest document granting religious freedom and home rule.

 
The Armenian Church canonized the heroes of Vartanank as a group in the fifth century. In April 2015 our generation witnessed the historic collective canonization of the 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian genocide. It was the first canonization by the Armenian Church since the 15 th  century when Krikor Datevatzi was granted sainthood.
 
“Newly wondrous crown-bearer and leader of the grave, you courageously armed yourself against death with the weapon of the Spirit, O Vartan, courageous warrior, you turned the enemy to flight and have crowned the Church with your rose-colored blood. …
“Surrounded today by the host of these crowned warriors, we sing glory in praise to you, O Holy Trinity, and we thank you for the mercy shown by you to the Armenian churches brightly adorned by the martyrdom of these strugglers.”
 
( Sharagan  to Saint Vartan and his companions, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)

PRELATE'S SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK
In the beginning of a busy community and liturgical week that includes the Feast of Sts. Vartanantz, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, is attending today a reception to mark the 28th anniversary of Armenia’s Armed Forces at the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations in New York
 
Tomorrow the Prelate will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church of Ridgefield, New Jersey, on the occasion of the Feast of Sts. Vartanantz, the patron saints of the church. As it is tradition, the students of the Hovnanian School will participate in the Divine Liturgy and take the communion. During the reception following the liturgy, the students will present a program dedicated to the Feast of Sts. Vartanantz.

On Saturday, February 22, His Eminence will preside over the deacons’ seminar taking place at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Douglaston, New York.

On Sunday, February 23, Archbishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church of Providence, Rhode Island on the feast of the name of the church. During the Divine Liturgy, he will ordain Shant Eghian, Arees Khatchadourian, and Ari Nalbandian as deacons.

ARAM I WELCOMES RECOGNITION OF GENOCIDE BY SYRIAN PARLIAMENT
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has welcomed the recent decision by the Syrian Parliament to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
 
In letters addressed to the president Bashar al Assad and the speaker of the People’s Council, or Parliament, Hammouda Youssef Sabbagh, the Catholicos expressed his gratitude over the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. 
 
“You already recognized the Genocide when the Syrian people shared its bread and water with our children who had survived the Genocide,” the Catholicos said. “That is why our people in the Diaspora welcome with unique joy this decision by the Syrian Parliament.”
 
Last Thursday, lawmakers voted to adopt a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, formalizing the government’s earlier commemoration of the victims of the 1915 massacres by the Ottoman Empire. The resolution was introduced by the Syria-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Commission.
 
In Yerevan, Syrian Ambassador to Armenia, Mohammed Haj Ibrahim, placed the decision in a historical context. “Today’s terrorist organizations, which are committing horrifying acts against the Syrian people, are the grandchildren of those who committed genocide against the Armenians and others in the past,” Ibrahim said.

CLERGY GATHER FOR GHEVONTIANTZ FEAST
On Tuesday, February 18 , the clergy of the New England area gathered at St. Stephen’s Church of Watertown, Mass. for the celebration of the Ghevontiantz Feast. In the evening, a religious ceremony was held at the church, presided by Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate. During the ceremony, the Prelate consecrated the newly installed icon of Sts. Vartanantz and delivered his message. 

His Eminence consecrating the icon of Sts. Vartanantz in the sanctuary of St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, MA.
From left to right: Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, Archbishop Anoushavan, Anahid Najarian, donor of the icon, and daughter Sonia Najarian.

New England Clergy gathered in front of the newly consecrated icon of Sts. Vartanantz.

PRELATE MET ST. STEPHEN’S PARISH MEMBERS
Archbishop Anoushavan presided over the morning religious ceremony on Sunday, February 16, at St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, Connecticut. Afterwards, the Prelate and parishioners gathered together and had their photo taken before the altar.

REQUIEM SERVICE FOR VICTIMS OF SUMGAIT
By order of the Prelate, all Prelacy parishes will offer requiem services this Sunday, February 23, in memory of Armenians who were massacred by Azerbaijan on February 26-28, 1988, in the town of Sumgait, along with those who were victims of the pogroms of Kirovabad (November 1988) and Baku (January 1990). These massacres left hundreds of dead and resulted in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians from their homes. Archbishop Anoushavan has directed parishes to circulate a second plate offering that will benefit the families of fallen heroes in Artsakh on the 32 nd anniversary of these tragic events.

ARS REMEMBRANCE DAY
Archbishop Anoushavan has directed all parishes to observe Remembrance Day for the Armenian Relief Society, offering requiem services for all deceased members and benefactors of the ARS this Sunday, February 23. Remembered specifically will be the founder of the ARS, Agnouni (Khatchadour Maloomian), on the occasion of the 105th anniversary of his death, and the following benefactors: George and Beatrice Lazarian, Levon and Sophia Hagopian, Karekin and Virginia Siroonian, Samuel and Agnes Yeremian, Araxie Proodian, Haiganoush Garabedian, Doris Norian Lentz, Alice Norian, Arpkes Kelerchian, Hagop Jacques and Pearl Mouradian, Alice Haigazian Berman, Genevieve Yekeshian, Yervant and Helen Terzian, Albert and Takouhi Begian, Giragos Vaporsiyan, Kourken Assaturian, Margaret Assaturian and Katherine P. Tayian.

ART EXHIBITION BY SPECIAL CARE STUDENTS OF TEHRAN’S AGUNK CENTER
The “Agunk” center of Tehran for special care children and teenagers recently inaugurated its art exhibition and fair. His Eminence Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of the Armenian Church of Tehran—under whose high auspices the event was held—and the Chair of Executive Council of the Tehran Prelacy, Eng. Norayr Aramian, attended the opening ceremony.

In his remarks at the inauguration on Jan. 30, Archb. Sarkissian praised the center’s students, as well as the work carried out by its direction and staff, for organizing the show.

The “Agunk” center for special care children and teenagers was founded in 1998 in Tehran to help young Armenians with different mental abilities develop their learning, intellectual and physical skills as well encourage their talents. The art exhibition and fair, which has already become a tradition, is one of the projects to fulfill these goals.

The center’s staff includes experts from the Armenian community, who are committed daily to the education of the students. In this regard, “Agunk” stands out in the Diaspora.

It may be seen as a possible example for other Armenian communities, especially after His Holiness, Catholicos Aram I proclaimed 2020 the “Year of Armenians with Special Needs.” “Agunk” has always attracted the goodwill of the Armenian community and its benefactors, who have displayed their support at the different events organized by the special care center. 

DON’T MISS MUSICAL ARMENIA AT CARNEGIE HALL
You may now reserve your tickets for the 2020 Musical Armenia Concert, which will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 2:00 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

This is your chance to become acquainted with distinguished and emerging Armenian artists who are making their name on the global stage. Now into its 37 th edition, Musical Armenia this year showcases three outstanding artists: pianist Tatev Amiryan, vocalist Anna Hayrapetyan, and cellist Laura Navasardian.

The New York Times reports that in the 2020-21 season the New York Philharmonic will perform works by Mary Kouyoumdjian, the composer who participated in our program in 2018.

Musical Armenia, established by Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, is dedicated to promoting young Armenian artists and to the performance of music by Armenian composers. Many of our performers have established solid professional careers.

As in the past, Musical Armenia’s sponsors and supporters can make a key contribution to the development of these artists. Prospective sponsors may join any of these categories: diamond ($1,000 donation), platinum ($500), gold ($300), or silver ($200). Diamond, platinum, and gold sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets.

Tickets for the concert cost $25. For further information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or via e-mail at sophie@armenianprelacy.org .
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for  Sunday, February 23,  Poon Paregentan   (Eve of Great Lent)  are: Isaiah 58:1-14; Romans 13:11-14:23; Matthew 6:1-21.
“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
 
“Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
 
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
 
“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
 
“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
 
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
 
“And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
 
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  (Matthew 6:1-21)
 
***
 
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
 
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
 
Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
 
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So, then, each of us will be accountable to God.
 
Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block on hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. For those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.  (Romans 13:11-14:23)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE
This Saturday (February 22) the Armenian Church commemorates the 150 Fathers of the Council of Constantinople, the second ecumenical council convened by Emperor Theodosius in 381. This council confirmed the work of the first council at Nicaea, and added five articles to the Nicene Creed regarding the Holy Spirit, the Church, Baptism, and Resurrection. The Council of Constantinople is one of the three ecumenical councils accepted by the Armenian Church.

POON PAREGENTAN
This Sunday (February 23) is Poon Paregentan , the eve of Great Lent ( Medz Bahk ). Poon means “real” or “genuine,” and distinguishes this Paregentan from others in the liturgical calendar prior to other periods of fasting. Paregentan literally means “good living.”

Poon Paregentan ushers the faithful into the Lenten period of fasting, penance, and reconciliation.

Paregentan Sunday is the last day before the start of Lent. It is marked with good and abundant food, merriment, entertainment, and festivities of various kinds. Traditionally, all the food in the house that is forbidden during Lent would be consumed on Paregentan or given to non-Christian neighbors. During Lent all animal products, including dairy and eggs, are forbidden. The earliest Armenian tradition was even stricter and was referred to as Aghouhatz (salt and bread) because of its stringent restrictions.

GREAT LENT BEGINS MONDAY
Great Lent ( Medz Bahk or Karasnortk ) begins this Monday, February 24. Great Lent is the longest of the fasts in the liturgical calendar. It begins on the Monday immediately following Paregentan and continues for 40 days until the Friday before the commemoration of the raising of Lazarus on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. A new period of fasting is observed during Holy Week.

Great Lent, a time of prayer, penance, abstinence, and devotion, is a very personal spiritual journey that is based on the 40 days Christ spent in the wilderness following his baptism. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was famished.” (Matthew 4:1-2)

SOCIAL EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS DURING LENT
Because Lent is a time of prayer, meditation, and introspection in preparation of the resurrection of our Lord, social events and celebrations (including weddings) are not scheduled during Lent. Our faithful and all church affiliated organizations are urged to respect this tradition when planning events.

PRELACY LENTEN PROGRAM BEGINS FEBRUARY 26
Great Lent is around the corner —Monday, February 24 is the first day. In keeping with the tradition, the Armenian Prelacy will hold its Lenten Program at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City on six consecutive Wednesdays, starting February 26. Cosponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s, the Lenten Program will include an abridged Husgoom Service from 7:00-7:30pm, followed by an educational component from 7:30–8:00pm, and conclude with a table fellowship.

The roster of speakers this year includes: Very Rev. Fr. Sahag (February 26), Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian (March 4), Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian (March 11), Louise Kanian (March 18), Dn. Shant Kazanjian (March 25), Prof. Siobhan Nash-Marshall (April 1).

REGISTER FOR THE 34TH ANNUAL DATEV SUMMER INSTITUTE
NEW VIDEO SERIES:
“EXPLORING THE MEANING OF BAPTISM”
The Armenian Prelacy has launched a new Christian educational mini-video lecture series: “Exploring the Meaning of Baptism.” Session 2 is devoted to Matthew 3. The biweekly presentations are made by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education.
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 sponsored children addressed to their sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads .
 
This week’s letter is from Monika* who is sponsored by Colette Gulian.  
Dear Sponsor,
 
This is Monika. I am 17 years old. I am in 12th grade of Okhtar’s high school [village of Siunik]. In this letter, I am happy to write to you about my plans and preferences. It would seem that nothing has changed in my life, but I have developed an interest in doing peoples’ photo portraits. I will be able to pursue this new passion after I get a camera and other necessary equipment. But before I apply myself to that, I have a more pressing and immediate goal –to get accepted into a university and study philology.

I don’t have big plans for my future yet, because the first important step is getting into the university. Presently, I am getting tutored in the Armenian language (to pass the entrance exam). Along with that, I continue to write poetry, lyrics, and essays. If I ever become successful, I might publish those.

I have dreams, but to fulfill them, I first have to accomplish my goals.

* In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORSHIP:
Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. You may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 
A CHANCE TO SPONSOR A STUDENT IN ARMENIA
The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization (Medsn Nerses) is now supporting its beneficiaries who pursue college education: the young who reach the age limit of 18 will receive aid that may be vital for their careers.

The College Sponsorship Program starts this year. An annual stipend of $250 will help defray some of the costs for the young men and women who have enrolled in an institution of higher education.

This marks the latest evolution of a program that then-Prelate Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, of blessed memory, urgently put together right after the 1988 catastrophic earthquake. At the time, the priority was to provide immediate help for earthquake survivors. Soon thereafter, the Orphan Sponsorship Program emerged as a priority benefitting thousands of children.

The programs have grown and blossomed greatly, and currently also include aid to orphanages, schools, students, the elderly, disabled servicemen, and a summer camp. Now, former members of the Orphan Sponsorship Program have become college students and will be needing new sponsors. With the highest standards observed since its inception, the St. Nerses the Great Charitable Organization will continue to track down potential candidates and bringing them to your attention.

Sponsors who have generously ensured a stipend for children may continue to do so as they mature into young professionals.

If you would like to sponsor a young student in the College Sponsorship Program օr a young child in the Orphans Sponsorship Program, you may contact the Prelacy by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810).
FROM OUR SCHOOLS
ARMENIAN YOUTH FOUNDATION TECHNOLOGY GRANT FOR ST. STEPHEN’S SCHOOL
Thanks to a grant by the Armenian Youth Foundation, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) purchased additional Chromebooks recently.

The Armenian Youth Foundation has been supportive of SSAES’ technology needs since 1988, when it first provided funds for a student computer lab. Since then it has funded the purchase of iPads, laptops, document cameras, and newer computers for the lab on multiple occasions.

Teachers and students frequently use regularly Chromebooks and iPads for research, project-based learning, and peer collaboration. These devices typically run productivity-based applications such as Google Docs for Education or grade appropriate educational applications in English and Armenian.

“We are very grateful to the Armenian Youth Foundation for understanding the benefits of the use of technology to improve student learning and accepting our grant request,” said Principal Houry Boyamian.

NAREG STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT ARTSAKH
Students of Nareg Saturday School in New Jersey had an in-depth look into the life of Artsakh. On Saturday, February 15, School Board member Pauline Dostoumian presented a slide show for the 5 th , 6 th and 7 th grade students on the history of Artsakh, its present, the war, its independence, nature, people and its unbreakable willpower to prevail and defend the homeland. Students enlivened the lesson with their vivid and enthusiastic participation. At the end, each student wrote a letter addressed to the Armenian soldiers defending the border of Artsakh. 
SUSAN ARPAJIAN JOLLEY AND ALLAN ARPAJIAN WIN TÖLÖLYAN LITERATURE PRIZE
Susan Arpajian Jolley and Allan Arpajian were awarded the Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature as co-authors of “Out of My Great Sorrows: The Armenian Genocide and Artist Mary Zakarian.” The announcement was made by the Eastern Regional Executive of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. Members of the jury were: Dr. Sima Aprahamian Hovhannessian (Montreal), Anoush Agnerian (Montreal), Dr. Vartan Matiossian (New Jersey), and Karen Jallatyan (California). The financial award of $1,500 is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Vergine Misserlian of San Francisco, California.

“Out of My Great Sorrows” is the story of Philadelphia artist Mary Zakarian, whose life and work were shaped by the experiences of her mother, a survivor of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Written by Mary Zakarian’s niece and nephew, the narrative examines the complexities of the artist's life as they relate to many issues, including ethnicity, gender, immigration, and assimilation. Above all this is a story of trauma –its effects on the survivor, its transmission through the generations, and its role in the artistic experience. Zakarian painted obsessively throughout her life. As she gained recognition for her artwork, she became increasingly haunted by her mother's untold story and was driven to express the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide in her art. Zakarian's attempt to deal openly with the issues of trauma and guilt caused conflicts in her relationship with her mother. These emotions became a driving force behind her art as well as the basis for her personal difficulties. By examining Mary Zakarian’s life and art, the authors bring new insights to the study of the Armenian experience. This moving story will inspire all those who have struggled to express themselves in the face of injustice and oppression. This critically acclaimed book is available on Amazon.

Mary Zakarian along with her parents and three siblings were faithful and active members of St. Gregory Church in Philadelphia for many decades. Mary, the subject of the prize-winning book, taught Sunday School and was superintendent of the Sunday School for many years. She also generously shared her artistic talents to benefit the church. Her sister Rose and husband Vazken Arpajian were members of St. Gregory their entire lives, and are the parents of Susan and Allan, the authors of the prize- winning book. Her other sister, Sossie, and husband Dr. Reuben Kachikian were ardent supporters of the Prelacy and Prelacy projects especially many publications in English and Armenian during the twenty year tenure of Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian as Prelate. Dr. Kachikian served as vice-chair of the Executive Council for a number of years. up to his death. Mary’s brother Paul Zakarian was also a faithful member of St. Gregory who taught Sunday School and served as superintendent of the Sunday School.

“THE PEOPLES OF ARARAT”

Armen Asher and Teryl Minasian Asher
The Peoples of Ararat were among the most advanced and powerful peoples of the ancient world. They rivaled the Egyptians and Assyrians for supremacy in the ancient Near East, developed their own unique and flourishing civilization at the very dawn of civilization, transmitted culture and civilization to every quarter of the ancient Near East and gave the story of Noah to the descendants of Abraham.
 
This is the story of the Peoples of Ararat, from their elusive beginnings through their conquests and accomplishments to their ultimate defeat, when they vanished from memory and sank into oblivion. It is also the story of the myths and legends that inspired the recent discoveries of the Peoples of Ararat and of the intrepid archaeologists and explorers who resurrected unsuspected civilizations from the ghostly silence of obscurity.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore ( books@armenianprelacy.org   or 212-689-7810)
DEATH OF ALEXANDER YERITSIAN (February 21, 1902)
Alexander Yeritsian is one of those names of Armenian scholarship that have remained almost unknown or reduced to a few bibliographic references, even though he was a pioneering researcher in various fields.

Yeritsian was born on October 24, 1841, in Tiflis, in the family of a minor employee of the Czarist bureaucracy. He started his studies in the Nersisian School in 1851 but left it soon. In 1854 he entered the Russian gymnasium, which he had to leave in sixth grade due to bronchitis. The lack of higher education did not prevent him, through self-education, to become one of the well-versed and knowledgeable men of his time.

He entered government service, while he also devoted himself to literature on the side. At first, during five years he served in the palace of the Caucasus viceroy, and then in the provincial archival office and the head committee, among other positions. During the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878, Yeritsian was designated official of special assignations for generals Loris-Melikoff and Shelknovikov. After the war, in the 1880s, he went to work in the Ministry of State Properties. He participated in an extensive project to catalog and describe the state village of Transcaucasia, and explored the district of Ghazakh (now Ijevan, in northeastern Armenia).

Outside of his official work, Yeritsian devoted himself to history and covered almost all periods of Armenian history. He was particularly interested in archaeology, and in 1871-1872 he carried out excavations in the ancient funerary field of the village of Vornak, in the gorge of the Debed River. He opened many tombs and found utensils, bronze daggers and spears, bracelets, et cetera. He published his findings in the Russian periodical Kavkazkaya starina, which he edited from 1872-1874. He assumed for the first time the existence of two different bronze periods in Transcaucasia. 

Yeritsian also wrote about ancient and medieval history, but he was mostly interested in the modern period. He compiled statistics about the population of Western Armenia (1881), and wrote extensively about Armeno-Russian relations in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. He prepared a four-volume collection of documents, which he could not publish for lack of resources. These and other valuable documents were destroyed after his death, in the 1917-1920 period. He also published a monograph on the Mekhitarists of Venice (1883), a work about Grigor Artzruni, the founder of the influential newspaper Mshak (1890) and a history of the Nersisian School (1898), among other books.

Frequent traveling related to his work undermined his already fragile health, and in 1888 Yeritsian was forced to abandon public service. He spent the last fourteen years of his life at home, completely devoted to literary work. He passed away on February 21, 1902, at the age of sixty-one. He was buried in the famous cemetery of Khojivank, near the tomb of novelist Raffi.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
Mother and Daughter Reach Back Far 
 
Mother and daughter are one of those duos that show the family relationship of the English and Armenian languages. Both English words have their Armenian close counterparts, and as you may surmise, the relation comes via their “mother”, that is, the Indo-European mother language, also called Proto-Indo-European (P.I.E.).

The original P.I.E. word *mater originated the Proto-Germanic word mōdēr, and then we had Old English modor, Middle English moder, and the modern English mother . In the same way, the P.I.E. *dhugheter was the source for Proto-Germanic *dhutēr and then *dokhter, from which came Old English dohter, Middle English doughter , and the modern English daughter.
 
The Armenian words may sound a little misleading, but they are solidly related to the previous ones. We have մայր ( mayr ), where the y is a phonetic law for Armenian: the Indo-European t of *mater becomes y (e.g. *pater > հայր /hayr ), and we have the evolution of *dhugheter first into Armenian *dhukter, after which the *k became s and we obtained the actual word դուստր / dustr “daughter” in Classical Armenian. (Remember that the asterisk always designates a word that has been reconstructed by linguists and does not exist in actual writing.)
 
Certainly, the word dustr ( tusdr in Western Armenian phonetics) does not circulate that much in colloquial Western Armenian these days; we commonly use աղջիկ ( aghchig “girl”) with the meaning of “daughter,” in the same way that we use տղայ ( dgha “boy”) instead of որդի ( vorti “son”). However, it is alive and well in colloquial Eastern Armenian.
 
The late Archbishop Nerses Pakhdigian, a member of the brotherhood of Antelias and a prolific author, wrote down an emotive tradition during a trip through Persia in 1962, published in the daily Hairenik in 1967. During the time of Shah Abbas II (1632-1666), it is said that the Christians were ordered to convert to Islam, and they would receive huge extensions of land in compensation, but those who refused were persecuted. While Georgians accepted, Armenians refused to follow the order and were persecuted. In the village of Geanduman, in the district of Charmahal, to the southeast of Ispahan, mother and daughter escaped towards the mountain to the east of the village. They drank some water from a source at the foot of the mountain, while their chasers were approaching. The women reached the rock near the source and prayed to the Lord to have Him open the ground and save them from the infidels. The rock opened like a watermelon, the women entered, but locks of their hair remained outside after the rock closed after them. The miraculous place became a sanctuary for the Armenians of the village, who went there to find cure to their illness. When they migrated looking for greener pastures, it became a sanctuary for the local Iranians. Incidentally, only women can enter there.
Tradition did not keep the name of the mother and her daughter. The Armenians called the place Matar-Dokhtar, and the name has remained unchanged to this day. Matar is mother in Farsi, and dokhtar, daughter. The root of dokht(ar) became the suffix dukht (դուխտ), which we find in early medieval Armenian names, such as Khosrovidukht (Խոսրովիդուխտ) , sister of King Terdat III, whom St. Gregory the Illuminator converted to Christianism. Indeed, Khosrovidukht’s (“daughter of Khosrov”) name derived from the fact that she was the daughter of King Khosrov. 

FROM OUR ARCHIVES...
The early months of 1988 were filled with demonstrations throughout Armenia and the Diaspora protesting the pogroms taking place against the Armenians in Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan. In Yerevan thousands and thousands of people took part in daily demonstrations (top photo). During the April 24 march to the Dzidzernagapert Memorial in 1989, 14 young Armenians walked handcuffed, muzzled, and wearing prison garb, symbolizing the imprisoned Karabagh Committee in Moscow (bottom photo). (Photos by Berge Ara Zobian)

NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR CROSSROADS
Please send your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian) to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org . Please take note that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads has changed. The deadline for submission is on Tuesday evenings.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

Comments received may be shared from time to time. We are looking forward to yours.

CORRECTIONS
Due to an editing oversight, in last week’s issue Crossroads erroneously reported that the ARS Remembrance Day requiem would take place on Sunday, February 16. It will be held this Sunday, February 23. We apologize to our readers. 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
March 1 – “Domestic Violence in Armenia and beyond -- how can we help?” A slide presentation by Maro Matosian, Executive Director, Women's Support Center in Yerevan, Armenia, following church service at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, 38-65 234th St., Douglaston, NY 11363. For more information, please contact 718-224-2275.

March 4, 2020 —The Embassy of Armenia in the U.S. and PostClassical Ensemble present “An Armenian Odyssey: The Color of Pomegranates,” a multimedia performance of Armenian music, culture and history, featuring Jivan Gasparyan and others, at 7:30 pm at Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

March 14, 2020 —The next Siamanto Academy class at the Prelacy office on Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. For more information, contact Mary Gulumian, director of the Armenian National Education Committee by email (anec@armenianprelacy.org) or phone (212-689-7231).

March 14, 2020 —Armenian Prelacy Pillars' events at St. Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church of Whitinsville, MA and Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester, MA.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2:00 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“Faith Building Women 2020 Symposium,” a daylong conference to heighten awareness of women in the Bible, organized by the Adult Christian Education department of St. Peter Armenian Church. The Symposium will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers are Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian.

March 29, 2020 —ARS Shakeh Chapter of New Jersey presents Kev Orkian. 4:00 pm Abajian Hall, St. Leon's Church, Fair Lawn, NJ.

April 4, 2020 —Consecration of the cross of the newly built dome of the Church of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover, MA.

April 4, 2020 —Prelacy Parish Partnership event at St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, MA.

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Philadelphia. The Clergy Conference will begin on Wednesday, May 13; the full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 14 and conclude on Saturday, May 16.

May 31, 2020 —Save the date. St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Douglaston, New York, 30 th Anniversary Banquet.

June 28—July 5, 2020 —St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program: the 34th annual Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 will take place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information, please click here or contact the AREC office—212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org .

November 4, 2020 —Save the date. St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT, 95th Anniversary Banquet.

November 15, 2020 —Save the date. The Eastern Prelacy's Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.

November 28, 2020 —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church 80 th Anniversary Celebration. Under the Auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island. More details to follow.
Follow us on Social Media
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/