June 25, 2020
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ARCHBISHOP ANOUSHAVAN IN PROVIDENCE
On Sunday, June 28, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island. Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Pastor, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

MAN AND DESTINY:
THE 25 TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE ENTHRONEMENT OF CATHOLICOS ARAM I
Would the course of history be different if leaders acted differently? Perhaps the supercomputers of this era can solve a riddle that has bedeviled philosophers, historians and writers, including Lev Tolstoy, who in the famous epilogue to his magnum opus War and Peace builds up the case that the forces that advance history sweep away great generals and their armies, their tactics and their operations.

In a paradoxical prefiguration of the historical determinism that would come to shape the discourse of his homeland in the century to come under the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the Soviet government, Tolstoy posits that Napoleon’s failure to defeat Russia was inevitable. Nothing in the firepower of the French armies and the willpower of the Corsican general could have reverted the course of events that were shaped by the factors that no general and no emperor can rule over.

Philosopher Isaiah Berlin remained unconvinced of Tolstoy’s pursuits, as he exposed in his brief, famous essay The Hedgehog and the Fox. It is not within our purview to respond to a question that a long line of philosophers and historians have not answered satisfactorily yet we wonder: are we indeed trapped in boats at the mercy of the treacherous, tyrannical seas and winds of History?

As probably the 20 th century history has taught us, perhaps we are not. Men have made a difference, for the better and the worse. And that applies to Armenians, too. We would probably no longer have our place under the sun as a nation with its own homeland were it not for the generations that led the rebirth of our people right after the Genocide. And that includes the long line of Catholicoi that preceded His Holiness Aram I as he was enthroned 25 years ago. They, Sahak II—who suffered the uprooting of the historical See of Sis in 1915 and upon whom was forced the painful task of leading his flock in the dark days of deportation and Genocide—Papken I, Bedros IV, Karekin I, Zareh I, Khoren I, and Karekin II, ensured the continuity of this historical throne of the Church, the oldest continuously functioning institution in Armenian history.

Catholicos Aram, whose long trajectory in the Church also encompassed the fratricidal civil war of Lebanon, part of which found him studying overseas as a young churchman, is no alien to the suffering of his Armenian homeland and of the land where the Holy See has reconstituted itself, preparing the clerics and pastors that lead our people as it has multiplied all over the world.

A review of Catholicos Aram’s corpus of works is revelatory of his interests in the ecclesiastical as well as historical realms. Suffice it to mention some of the titles: The Witness of the Armenian Church in a Diaspora Situation (1978);  Orthodox Perspectives on Mission (1992); The Challenge to be a Church in a Changing World (1997); Jesus Christ: the Son of God- the Son of Man (1999), For a Church Beyond its Walls (2006); and The Armenian Church (2016). And Towards an Ecumenical Ethic for a Sustainable Society in a Sustainable Creation (1994) reminds us of one his lifelong passions as a Christian leader: ecumenism.

In his 25 years of pontificate, Catholicos Aram has devoted himself with tireless energy to the task of keeping the foundations of the Church strong and sound against the inevitable blows that current events, often violent and always tumultuous, inflict on it. Perhaps no generation has ever experienced such a rapid change in societal values and mores, in no small measure induced by the incredibly fast technological progress. Yet the human soul has not changed from the moment it was shaped and we are ever in need of the stewardship that the Church provides, with its apostolic mission that responds to the divine grace.

Yet the Church is also of this world, and the Holy See of Cilicia is also of the Armenians, especially that portion of our nation that a century after the Genocide is still in need of healing and of justice. Towards that end, Catholicos Aram has sued the Turkish state for the return of the historical see of Sis, expropriated in 1921 in the later stages of the thirty year Genocide. And he has kept up pace with the times we are living in, remembering in his annual proclamations since 2013 the persons and things that make us who we are and our lives worth living: the Mother, the Bible, the Armenian Book, the Elderly and, this year, the Armenians with Special Needs.

For we may be all in the same boat, exposed to the whims of history and the enemies of our nation, yet we have Catholicos Aram at the helm, and with him our Church, which for 1700 years has been our safe harbor and our unassailable home.
PONTIFICAL THANKSGIVING PRAYER
IN EVERY PRELACY CHURCH
On the occasion of the 25 th anniversary of the election of His Holiness Aram I as Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia on June 28, 1995, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, has directed every church of the Eastern Prelacy to celebrate a Pontifical Prayer during the Divine Liturgy.
NERSES THE GREAT
THE PRELATE’S HOMILY
On Sunday, June 21, Archbishop Anoushavan presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, was the celebrant. You can read the Prelate’s sermon below:
The Armenian Church calendar marks this weekend the feast of St. Nerses, the great grandson of St. Gregory the Illuminator. After pursuing his higher education in Caesaria of Cappadocia, and holding the high position of chancellor in the reign of King Arshag, Nerses was elected and consecrated Catholicos in 353 A.D. at the age of 24. A man of great vision and action within the tenure of his pontificate, he achieved such ambitious projects that he was entitled “Nerses the Great.” Moreover he was entitled “the Illuminator of hearts,” having in mind St. Gregory as “the Illuminator of Souls” and Sts. Sahag and Mesrob “the Illuminators of minds.”

Armenia, having enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous period during the reign of King Drtad, unfortunately was plunged into invasions by Persia, following the latter’s death. Destruction, pillaging, betrayal, renouncing of the Christian faith, poverty and more were common syndromes of the era. Within this atmosphere Nerses was called upon to carry the heavy yoke of spiritual leadership of a nation that was converted to Christianity only half of century ago. The dynamism and the credibility of the new religion were indeed at great risk.

Catholicos Nerses, led by the essence of his vocation, within a short period of time transformed the spirit of the country by building hospitals, care centers for those suffering of leprosy, established monasteries, opened schools and students abroad to pursue higher education. His life span was too short, only forty four years, nevertheless as King Solomon says in his Book of Wisdom, “Perfected in a short span, he was fulfilled long years” (Wis 4:13). The Legacy of Catholicos Nerses the Great is so deeply rooted in the Armenian ethos that he has been a source of inspiration to all future priests. By coincidence, those who have been named after this great Catholicos, such as Catholicos Nerses the Builder ( Shinogh) in the 7 th century, Catholicos Nerses the Graceful and his nephew Archbishop Nerses Lambronatzi, a great intellectual and ecumenist in the 12 th century, Catholicos Nerses Ashdaragetzi in the 19 th century, were all shining stars on the horizon of the Armenian Church.

I would like to invoke the memory of this inspirational Church Father by sharing three thoughts with you.

Nerses the Great was a highly achieved young person in his career as royal chancellor. Nevertheless, when the bells of urgency rang to serve the Lord, he didn’t resist. Throughout centuries the Armenian Church has attracted young professionals from all walks of life to serve Lord. Serving the Lord is not only a career but a vocation in which a person welcomes the heavenly calling to walk with God and the people, where the self denies his own interest and like a river flows to irrigate and fertilize the earth for the good of mankind and for the glory of the Creator. In the Old Testament, the Prophets, and in the New Testament, the Apostles, and in Church history, all the saints in the very word of the Holy Virgin Mary, have said, “Here am the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). St. Nerses today raises the voice of calling.

St. Nerses, a young man, as much as was full of vision, didn’t soar within the spheres of ideals only but, facing manifold challenges, turned them into positive and constructive realities.

Actually, challenges are not barriers but testing, vitalizing our God-granted talents. He was a pragmatic person who with great commitment turned pain and sorrow into joy, the darkness of illiteracy into enlightenment, the ruling of despair into radiating hope. In general, youth constitute the core of the society. They are passionate with the great ideology of changing the society, yet they yield when confronting reality, entering into the shell of passivism or indifference. Nerses the Great challenges us all not to give up but to remain faithful and follow the path of our dreams.

The credibility of Christianity and its enormous investment often is challenged with the argument that because of her society was doomed to Dark Ages, and only after the Age of the Enlightenment mankind has been liberated from its bondages. No doubt that in the life of the Church there have been downsides. Nevertheless, to deny the upsides generated by it is not an objective approach either. Throughout centuries along with her mission of evangelizing the world, the achievements of the universal church in the fields of education, arts, philanthropy are undeniable. The spirit of Christian love, Charitas, mainly has blossomed in the deserted hearts and brought joy and hope in the lives of millions of orphans, widows and nations suffering in an unjust world. And indeed, today’s world more than anything else, at the threshold of the collapse of economic and social stability, we are in dire need of charity; in other words, Love in Action. And once again, the Church is invited to refresh its mission in this direction.

This is a true fact also in the Armenian nation. As such the name of Catholicos Nerses is identified with Charity. Along with her mission in spreading the good news the Eastern Prelacy through her charity office operating in Armenia, named after St. Nerses the Great, for the last 35 years works for the welfare of families with manifold projects. Motivated by the spirit of caring and sharing, the Armenian Prelacy brings her humble portion of building up the dignity of broken hearts and families and inflames the torch of hope in their lives. More recently, the Prelacy has launched also a praiseworthy project sponsoring those who like to pursue their higher education, for we believe that by raising the bar of education we raise the quality of society as well.

On this occasion, on behalf of the Prelacy Religious Council and Executive Council, I would like to publicly thank all our sponsors who since the inception of this God-pleasing mission have consciously and joyfully sponsored our young brothers and sisters in need. I would like to underline the two words, “Consciously and Joyfully,” for there are noble hearts who started sponsoring one orphan, and in the course of time the joy of love spread in their hearts and respectfully they raised the bar of Charitas, and thus, instead of one, they sponsored ten, others fifty, and still others 175 lovely kids. I am most grateful to all, for most recently I witnessed personally that in spite of our domestic crisis our donors without hesitation and interruption continued their financial and moral support to the little brothers as well as the sisters of Christ.

With the spirit of St. Nerses let us all challenge the challenges in our life. For the origin and the goal of Christianity is abundant life in Christ, full of peace, joy, goodness and victory. Let us all with constant and fervent prayer beseech the Lord to bring us out of the valley of the pandemic and social injustice. Let us all thankfully praise the Lord forever. Amen.

Prelate, Eastern United States

ARMENIAN FOLK SINGER ONNIG DINKJIAN
AWARDED NATIONAL HERITAGE FELLOWSHIP
Armenian musician and singer Onnik Dinkjian has been awarded the National Heritage Fellowship, a lifetime honor presented to master folk and traditional artists by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award is considered the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts of the United States.

“Each year the Heritage Fellowships highlight the distinct living traditions of communities around our nation, as well as how our fellows instill a sense of pride, beauty and cultural continuity through their art,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts, in the announcement of the $25,000 award, given in recognition of both artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions for future generations. “The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to recognize these outstanding artists with a National Heritage Fellowship.”

In addition to Dinkjian, the 2020 Fellows are William Bell, soul singer and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia; Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, West African Diasporic Dancers from Oakland/Castro Valley, California; Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Iroquois raised beadworker from Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz de la Ladrillera, traditional religious dancers from Laredo, Texas; John Morris, Old-Time fiddler and banjo player from Ivydale, West Virginia; Suni Paz, Nueva Canción singer and songwriter from Henderson, Nevada; Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), birchbark canoe builder from Waaswaaganing (Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin), and Hugo N. Morales, radio producer and radio network builder from Fresno, California.
Onnik Dinkjian, Armenian folk and liturgical singer from Fort Lee, New Jersey, was born in 1929 in France. Along with his parents, Genocide survivors from Dikranagerd, he moved to the U.S. in 1946. “One of the most beloved and influential Armenian singers in America, Dinkjian’s tenor voice is soothing and expressive, conveying both the utter joy and passions of his Armenian heritage and the deep sorrow of its painful history,” said the National Endowment for the Arts in its announcement.

Dinkjian and his son Ara, also a renowned musician, are very close to the Sts. Vartanantz Church community of New Jersey. In December, 2019, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, bestowed upon Onnik Dinkjian the Mesrob Mashtots medal for his long-time career in Armenian traditional music.
ARMENIA JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ALLIANCE
Armenia has joined the international Religious Freedom Alliance established in 2020, which includes 29 countries, the Foreign Ministry informs.

As a human rights advocate, Armenia greatly values the freedom of religion as an inalienable human right.

By joining this Alliance, Armenia reiterates its commitment to the joint efforts aimed at strengthening the tolerance towards religious groups and preventing religion based harassment.

In February 2020 the United States was joined by 26 other countries in a new International Religious Freedom Alliance that seeks to reduce religious persecution across the globe.
THE PRELACY RAFFLE IS ON!
DRAWING DATE: SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 
For many decades, the Prelacy has sponsored an annual raffle drawing that benefits its educational and religious programs. The drawing usually takes place in May at the conclusion of the National Representative Assembly. This year, the coronavirus pandemic hit when the raffle was underway, and the National Representative Assembly, to be originally hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia, PA, had to be postponed. The new drawing date has been set for September 12, 2020. The top prize is $5,000; second prize is $2,000; and third, fourth, and fifth prizes are $1,000. However, we always like to point out that in this raffle there are no losers, because all of the money raised benefits our Prelacy programs.

Please consider purchasing one or more tickets ($100 each). For information, please contact your local parish or the Prelacy office (email@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810).
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, July 7 , Fourth Sunday after Pentecost are: Isaiah 1:21-31; Romans 7:25-8:11; Matthew 12:38-45.
Romans 7:25-8:11


So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

***

Matthew 12:38-45

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation. 

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

DISCOVERY OF THE RELICS OF 
ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR
This Saturday (June 27) the Armenian Church observes one of the three feast days dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator (Krikor Lousavorich): the discovery of his relics. St. Gregory is considered to be the “Apostle of Armenia,” and the patron saint of the Armenian Church. He preached throughout Armenia, built churches, including the great cathedral in Etchmiadzin, established the first canon laws, wrote many prayers, and organized the liturgical services.

After years of evangelizing, St. Gregory sought solitude and an ascetic life. He retired to a cave at Mount Sepouh where he died in solitude. Shepherds found his body and without realizing his identity they buried him under a pile of stones. Later a hermit, known as Garnik of Basen, who was a disciple of Gregory, saw a vision and went to Mount Sepouh and found the burial site. He took the saint’s remains to the village of Tordan for burial where King Drtad was buried.

Relics from the right hand of St. Gregory, encased in a golden arm, are at the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin and the Holy See of Cilicia. Continuing long established traditions, the Catholicoi mix the new Muron (holy oil) with the old Muron with the golden arm of St. Gregory.
ST. DANIEL THE PROPHET AND COMPANIONS
SHEDRACH, MESCHACK, AND ABEDNEGO
This Tuesday (June 30) the Armenian Church commemorates Daniel the Prophet and his companions. Daniel and his youthful companions Shadrach (Setrak), Meshack (Misak), and Abednego (Apetnakov), found favor with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar after their captivity. When the king gave orders for a large statue of himself to be worshipped like a god, Daniel and the three youths refused. Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego were put into a large furnace. The flames shot out of the furnace and attacked those standing nearby, but the three boys walked in the flames without harm. Seeing this, the king ordered their release from the furnace. (See the Book of Daniel, chapters 1 to 3 for the full account).

Also commemorated this week:
Monday, June 29: St. Antoninus, St. Theophilus, St. Anicetus and St. Potinus
DATEV SUMMER PROGRAM ONLINE
DN. SHANT CONCLUDES PODCAST ON LORD’S PRAYER
At the beginning of April, the Armenian Prelacy launched a weekly podcast on Exploring Tools For Prayer by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, the Prelacy’s Director of Christian Education. In his introductory session, Dn. Shant, highlighted three basic time-honored tools for prayer: 1) The Lord’s Prayer, 2) The Book of Psalms, and 3) Fixed prayers from the Book of Hours ( Zhamakeerk ) of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The first two are from the Bible while the third is inspired and patterned after biblical prayers.

In the subsequent eleven weeks, he focused on the first of the three resources for prayer: The Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father ( Hayr Mer ). He underscored that the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus, is the paradigm of all Christian prayers, and every Christian should pray in the spirit of the Lord’s Prayer.

Dn. Shant first discussed the introductory address to God — “Our Father who art in heaven.” And over the next six weeks, he expounded the six petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, one sentence at a time, as follows: 1) Hallowed be Thy name, 2) Thy kingdom come, 3) Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, 4) Give us this day our daily bread, 5) Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and 6) lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. He then looked at the doxology with which the Lord’s Prayer ends — “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The following two podcasts focused on the two different ways we traditionally begin the Lord’s Prayer: either with the doxology—“Blessed be our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen”— or with the invocation, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” And with the 12th podcast, he concluded the study by looking at the Lord’s Prayer in the context of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Dn. Shant will soon resume with the second resource for prayer—The Book of Psalms. Stay tuned.


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 Milena who is sponsored by Mrs. Karen Colavecchio.
Dear Karen,

Every time I read or write to you, I feel warmth and joy as you have become very close and dear to me.

I would like to thank you for your generous gift of $100 you sent to me. It was much needed: my mom bought me some warm clothes and books that I needed for school.

---

Dear Karen, I remember you in my prayers every day, asking God to bless you and your family with good health and success.

I would like to tell you a bit about myself, although there are not many changes in my life. I go to school, go to afterschool dance classes, and help my mom in the house chores and other tasks. Maybe in your next letter you could tell me about yourself, your health and how you pass your days.

Dear Karen, I have to say that every time I write to you, I always think about the day we may meet. I would love to see you and feel your kindness. I thank God that there are people like you in the world, even if you are so far away. Thank you that you are in my life.

I am looking forward to your letter.

Love,

Milena

PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORSHIP:
The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization’s orphans’ sponsorship program now has two branches:
 
a.      Minors up to the age of 18.
b.     Orphans who upon turning 18 continue their studies at a higher education institution.
 
If you would like to sponsor a child on the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program, please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. Alternatively, for the sponsorship of both minors and university students you may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810). 
FROM OUR SCHOOLS
HAIGAZIAN SCHOOL WRAPS UP CLASSES ON ZOOM
Following its closure in March during the coronavirus pandemic, the Haigazian Armenian School of Philadelphia resumed its classes on Zoom after a brief pause. Students joined the online lessons with enthusiasm and on time.
During the virtual classes every Sunday morning, they learned the alphabet, reading, orthography, antonyms and also counting to one thousand in Armenian, as well as other topics that enriched their general culture. The teachers appreciate the students’ lively participation in the classes as well as their parents’ cooperation, and are looking forward to beginning the new school year with everybody safely together back in the classroom if circumstances permit it.
ARS INVITES DONORS TO HONOR LOVED ONES ON ANNIVERSARY
To mark its 110 th anniversary, the Armenian Relief Society of the Eastern United States has dedicated a webpage for virtual celebration of this momentous occasion. This is also an opportunity for any member of our community to support the beloved organization by becoming an Anniversary Donor for $110. With their contribution, Anniversary Donors may honor and remember a member of the organization, a family member or the ARS itself. All donors’ names and their dedications will be listed on the 110 th Anniversary webpage.
“DE VITA SUA”
NINA GARSOIAN

Dr. Nina Garsoïan begins her masterfully written autobiography by introducing the reader to the émigré world into which she was born. She paints candid pictures of her parents and grandparents. She relates what is known of the family’s history in Rostov-on-Don (Russia) and Tbilisi (Georgia) and how, despite a series of trials and tribulations, they settled in France.
Dr. Garsoïan’s memoir is the story of a survivor. Not only did she live through the loss of her father and maternal grandfather when she was very young but she also survived being transplanted from her native Paris to New York at the tender age of ten. It is also a story of transition and evolution. She describes how in her late twenties she made the transition from an intended career in music to the role of a graduate student and an academic and how over the succeeding decades she began teaching at prestigious American universities. She guides her readers through the evolution of her academic focus from Classical Archaeology to Byzantine History and relates how her interests turned first from Byzantium to Armenia and then to the relations of Armenia with its neighbor to the east, the Sasanian Empire of Iran. She traces the development of her unique multicultural approach to the study of early Armenian history.

In addition, the memoir relates Dr. Garsoïan’s prominent role in the evolution of the Armenian Studies Program at Columbia University from the first classes she taught there beginning in 1962 to her appointment in 1979 to the newly created chair in Armenian History and Civilization through to her eventual retirement from the university in 1993.
Dr. Garsoïan shares with the reader numerous anecdotes regarding well-known personalities in the arts and in the academic world with whom she interacted both on the East Coast of the US and in Europe. Throughout the memoir she paints very vivid pictures in words of time spent in various countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Caucasus.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore (books@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810)
Death of Sero Khanzadian (June 26, 1998)
A prolific novelist, Sero Khanzadian also became one the best exponents of the Soviet Armenian historical novel from the 1960s.

He was born on December 3, 1915, in Goris (Siunik). He graduated from the pedagogical school of the city in 1934, and the same year he published his first short story in the periodical  Karmir Zangezur.  He worked as teacher from in 1934-1941 in the nearby villages of Tatev and Khnatzakh until he was mobilized to fight in World War II (1941-1945).

He became member of the Writers Union of Armenia in 1950, the same year he published his first book, the novel People of Our Battalion, with the war as subject. His next work, the two-volume novel Land, brought him critical recognition. His subject this time was the rural exodus, showing that the well-being of the residents of the village of Karakert was not solved by migration to the Ararat Plain, but by breaking the boulders and making the land flourish. 
He published several collection of young teens literature and two collections of shorts stories from 1955-1961, Red Lilies (1958) and “The Wealth in the Mountains” (1961).

The historical novel “Mkhitar Sparapet” (1961) consecrated Sero Khanzatian’s name in Armenia and the Diaspora with four printings in Yerevan, Beirut, and Cairo from 1961-1963. He continued the tradition of the Armenian historical novel with one heroic episode of history interpreted from a contemporary viewpoint. This was the rebellion of David Bek and his successor Mkhitar Sparapet from in 1725-1730 in Siunik against the Persian rule and the Ottoman invasion.

He continued producing an outpouring of volumes, mostly dedicated to contemporary subjects: Lost Paths (1964), Kajaran (1965), The Burned House (1965), Book of Events (1966), After the Rain (1969), Why, Why? (1970), Three Years, 291 Days (1972), The Daybreak at the Sevan (1974), Speak, Mountains of Armenia (1976).

Sero Khanzatian became a literary advisor of the Writers Union of Armenia in 1972. He earned the title of Emeritus Figure of Armenia in 1974 and won the State Prize of Armenia in 1977 for his battlefront diary Three Years, 291 Days, published five years before. He also received various military and state decorations over the decades.

In the last two decades of his life, Khanzadian’s literary work leaned towards Armenian history. He gave an original reconstruction of the Armenian remote past in his novel The Armenian Queen (1978), which was followed by other historical novels (The Arax is Becoming Muddy, 1985; Antranig, 1989; Shushi, 1991, and Garegin Nezhdeh, 1993) and autobiographical and memorialist works (With My Father and Without My Father, 1986; As I Remember It, 1988; Gharabagh Amid the Fire, 1998).

The writer was a frequent commentator on historical, literary, and current issues. Many of his works were translated into Russian and other languages, and two of his works, The Burnt House (retitled The Valley of Abandoned Tales, 1974) and Mkhitar Sparapet (1978, also known as The Star of Hope), were turned into movies.

Sero Khanzadian passed away in Yerevan on June 26, 1998. He was buried in the Pantheon of Komitas Park.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
How Licking Influenced Language?
  
The way both English “language” and Armenian լեզու ( lezoo “language”) look perhaps will bring you to infer that they may have some kind of relationship. Yes, they do, even if their aspect changed over time. But this is something that most, if not all words meaning “language” or “tongue” in their sister Indo-European languages did too.

They share the same Indo-European root, which means that there was a word in the Proto-Indo-European language that originated both “language” and lezoo . Linguists have reconstructed that word as *dnghua or *dnghu , which looks quite similar to the familiar English word “tongue” (the intermediary source was Proto-Germanic *tungō , which yielded Old English tunge ). There is a phenomenon called “folk etymology,” when people think that two words with some resemblance have an actual relationship; for instance, someone may think that the English word “bad” derived from Armenian վատ ( vad ), or vice versa, because both mean “wicked, evil.” In this case, the good old Indo-Europeans linked *dnghua (“language”) to *leigh (“to lick”), perhaps with help of the tongue as the instrument to lick, and the result was that the word “language” in all Indo-European languages adopted a completely different aspect from the original word. For instance, the Old Latin word dingua became lingua under the influence of the verb lingo (“to lick”), from which French langage came, of course, English language. Similarly, the Armenian word, which was supposed to be *տնձու ( dndzoo ), was influenced by the verb լեզուլ/լիզուլ ( lezool/lizool  “to lick”) in Classical Armenian to become lezoo ( lizoo in Armenian dialects). Incidentally, “to lick” is լիզել ( lizel ) in Modern Armenian and not լզել ( luzel ), as many speakers inaccurately use it.

It is interesting, on the other hand, that the English language uses the same word for the body part and the ability to express a thought, “tongue,” like Armenian, where lezoo serves both purposes. However, while English loaned “language” from French as synonym—with some subtleties in its use—to “tongue,” Armenian used another word of Indo-European origin, բարբառ ( parpar “sound, word, language”), as synonym of lezu . This is how we say “mother tongue” or “mother language” in English, while we say մայրենի լեզու ( mayreni lezoo ) or մայրենի բարբառ ( mayreni parpar ) in Armenian, even though the latter has a more literary and less colloquial look.

Indeed, the word parpar also means “dialect” (Խարբերդի բարբառ or Kharperti parpar “Kharpert dialect”), but this is actually a consequence of abbreviating the compound word գաւառաբարբառ ( kavaraparpar “regional language”).
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
June 29—July 3  —St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program online For information, please contact Dn. Shant Kazanjian at 212-689-7810 or  skazanjian.sk@gmail.com .
July 10 —First summer class of the Siamanto Academy at 4:00 pm. For further information, please contact ANEC Director Mary Gulumian at anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

September 12 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy to meet by videoconference, hosted by the Prelacy.

September 26-27 POSTPONED —St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley (North Andover, Massachusetts), 50 th Anniversary, under the auspices of Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate.

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

October 17 CANCELED —Hye Kef 5 Annual Dance, presented by the Armenian Friends of America, Inc.. Featuring: Steve Vosbikian Jr., Mal Barsamian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian and Jason Naroian. At the DoubleTree Hotel in Andover, MA. For details, visit ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org or call Sharke at 978-808-0598.

November 15  —Save the date. The Eastern Prelacy's Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
 
November 28  —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church 80th Anniversary Celebration, under the auspices of Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island. 

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