November 8, 2018
Sunday, November 11 is the 100 th anniversary of Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day in the United States), that officially brought an end to fighting in the Great War (later named World War I), that called for a ceasefire effective at 11 a.m.—the 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month.
The terms of the agreement of the armistice included the immediate German withdrawal from enemy territories, disarmament, and demobilization of the German military, and the release of Allied prisoners. The armistice was not intended to be a permanent peace treaty. The Allied powers—Britain, France, Italy, and the United States—met in Paris to draft a formal peace treaty that resulted in the Treaty of Versailles months later. Originally also known as “the war to end all wars,” because it was believed that the extraordinary high death toll and vast destruction would surely deter future hostilities. As we sadly know, this did not become reality.

The Memorial of the Lamenting Soldier
O Jesus, Savior bringing peace.
Our world you came and saw.
People are insane; they have not yet
Mastered your Gospel’s law.
Angel of love incarnated.
You said all men that live
Are brethren; give to us your peace,
Which this world cannot give.
From a poem written by Khrimian Hayrik
(Catholicos 1892—1907)

Bishop Anoushavan will travel to Maryland this weekend where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Soorp Khatch Church in Bethesda. On Saturday evening, His Grace will preside over the 54 th anniversary of the church.

The Religious and Executive Councils of the Eastern Prelacy are pleased to invite the faithful to attend the morning Liturgy and the afternoon banquet, in celebration of the election of Bishop Anoushavan as Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy on Sunday, December 2. The deadline for reservations and donations in honor of Bishop Anoushavan is November 19. All donations will be acknowledged in the commemorative booklet that will be published on this occasion.
His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, on Sunday, December 2. The Liturgy will begin at 10 am. The banquet will take place at the Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, New York. The reception will begin at 2:30 pm, followed by dinner and program at 3:30 pm. For reservation or information contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or by telephone (212-689-7810).

Bishop Anoushavan and V. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian with altar servers at All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois.
Bishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois, last Sunday. Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian, pastor of All Saints, assisted at the altar. The Prelate visited the Taniel Varoujan Saturday School and on Saturday evening he presided over the parish’s 75 th anniversary banquet and program that took place in the church’s Shahnasarian Hall. Some photos of the event follow:
Bishop Anoushavan with the Taniel Varoujan Armenian Saturday School's students and teachers of Glenview, IL.
His Grace presents a certificate of Merit to Principal Talin Artinian of the Taniel Varouzhan Saturday School at the Armenian All Saints Chruch 75th Anniversary Banquet.
Participants at last week’s session.
The second of a 7-part Bible study on the Book of Revelation took place last Thursday at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, and will continue on subsequent Thursdays, from 7:00-8:30pm, with a light dinner at 6:30pm. Sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, the Bible study is conducted by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, the Prelacy’s director of Christian Education. New attendees are welcome. For information contact St. Illuminator’s Cathedral by email ( ) or by phone (212-689-5880).

Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, with teachers and students.
Each week’s “Assembly Lesson” incorporates learning and fun activity.
The Sunday School of St. Gregory Church in Philadelphia presents an Assembly Lesson each week. For instance, a recent Assembly Lesson was based on a Bible verse from the Gospel of Matthew, “…And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ ” (Mt 4:19). The students learned about the verse and then went “fishing.” Each week during Assembly the students focus on their week’s lesson and usually leave with a tangible item to remember the lesson. For the “fishers” lesson, the students went fishing and went home with their “catch”—a Bible verse bracelet or a cross.

At the beginning of each new Sunday school term, the teachers and administrators are honored during a Teachers’ Dedication Service. The teachers and administrators, who every week share their love and teach the children about Jesus’s love, are thanked for their service to the Sunday school children.
Bible readings for Sunday, November 11 , Ninth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 24:1-13; Ephesians 5:15-33; Luke 8:49-56.

While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.” And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed; but he charged them to tell no one what had happened. (Luke 8:49-57)


Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject to everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleaned her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:15-33)

This Saturday, November 10, the Armenian Church commemorates the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The word “angel” ( hreshdag ) means messenger. Archangel is a title given to an angel of high rank in the celestial hierarchy. Michael and Gabriel are the only angels given the title archangel in the Bible.
Michael (Hebrew meaning “Who is like God”) is the prince of all angels and the leader of the celestial armies. He is considered to be the protector of Christians in general and soldiers in particular, and the guardian of the orthodox faith and defender against heresies.
Gabriel (Hebrew meaning “Strength of God”) is one of God’s chief messengers. He was God’s messenger to Daniel to explain his vision (Daniel 8:16-26) and prophecy (Daniel 9:21-27). He foretold the birth of John the Baptist and was the messenger announcing the forthcoming birth of Christ (Luke 1:11-21).
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
Also commemorated this week:
St. Melitus of Antioch and St. Minas of Egypt, Monday, November 12
St. Demetrius , Tuesday, November 13

The 39 th annual Book Fair of the Catholicosate of Cilicia will open this Sunday, November 11, following the Divine Liturgy in Antelias, Lebanon. The Book Fair will continue through to Sunday, December 2. This annual event has taken place for nearly four decades even during some of the darkest days of the war in Lebanon. Watch this short video about the upcoming Book Fair that features many hundreds of books.

Executive members of the Armenian Relief Society’s New York Mayr Chapter visited the Prelacy yesterday, November 7. Mina Hovsepian, Rosita Boiatchian, and Maria Embrimian met with the Prelate, Bishop Anoushavan, congratulated him on his recent election and discussed various points of common interest.

"The Man Who Showed Us Istanbul," is a very beautifully written and touching article by Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, about his friend, the noted photographer Ara Guler, who died last month. Read the article here .
Birth of Mgrdich Avkerian
(November 11, 1762)
When he founded the Mekhitarist Congregation in 1701, Mekhitar of Sebastia (1676-1749) envisioned a monastic order that would engage in educational activities. Research and scholarship became an integral part of that project, which would be continued by his disciples and successive generations of monks in both branches of the island of San Lazzaro, in Venice, and Vienna.

Rev. Mgrdich Avkerian (Jean-Baptiste Aucher, in French) would be one of the remarkable names in the generation that came to the fore after Mekhitar’s disciples. He was born in Ancyra (now Ankara), in Turkey, on November 11, 1762, in a Catholic Armenian family. His younger brother Harutiun (Pascal), also a member of the Congregation, would be famous as the Armenian teacher of Lord Byron.

In 1774 their father took young Mgrdich, then twelve, to Venice, where he entered the monastery of San Lazzaro and studied at the monastic school. Upon graduation, in 1786 he was ordained celibate priest. He taught at the monastic school for a decade and then he was sent to Constantinople as a preacher for Catholic Armenians. Back to the monastery after eight years, from 1804 until his death he would hold the positions of adviser for thirty years and of general vicar for twenty years.

Rev. Mgrdich Avkerian was also an extremely prolific scholar, linguist, and translator. He published in twelve thick volumes the monumental Complete Life and Hagiography of the Saints in the Ancient Calendar of the Armenian Church from 1810-1814. This huge work was in Classical Armenian, as well as several religious and moral tracts he published from 1809-1814. However, at least two of the latter, Good Advices (1809) and Medicine of Life, which is Spiritual Medical Book (1810), were written in Modern Armenian, which offers an important resource in the study of the history of the language.

Avkerian made an important contribution to classical scholarship, publishing two works that have only reached us through their ancient Armenian translation. The first one was fourth century historian Eusebius of Caesarea’s Chronicon , whose Armenian translation he published along with his Latin translation in 1818. This was a very valuable historical source about the ancient world, sometimes with unique information. The second was a collection of writings by Philo of Alexandria, an important source from the first century A.D. in the development of the philosophical and theological foundations of Christianity (1826). No less important for Armenian scholarship was the publication of eighth-century author Catholicos Hovhannes Odznetsi’s Discourse against Aphtartodocetians (1807). Aphtartodocetism, also known as Julianism, was a heresy rejected by the Armenian Church and formulated by Julian of Halicarnassus, who suggested that Christ’s body was always incorruptible.

The Mekhitarist monk also translated a flurry works from Latin to Classical Armenian— krapar was still the literary language preferred by many—including texts by Seneca, Cicero, and St. Gregory the Great. Particularly important among these translations was the Armenian version of fourteenth century author Hayton the Armenian, Fleur des histories de la terre d’Orient (1842).

However, Avkerian’s arguably most celebrated work was the New Dictionary of the Armenian Language, a task that he shared with two colleagues, Rev. Kapriel Avedikian and Khachadour Surmelian. He completed the dictionary from the letter Զ to the end (that is, 30 letters) and supervised the publication in 1836-1837 after the passing of his co-authors. This dictionary, which became the standard source for Classical Armenian to this day, included an enormous amount of entries with corresponding quotations from sources both printed and manuscript. Avkerian was already aware that this dictionary was only available to a limited circle of learned people, and ten years later (1846) he published an abridged version, Pocket Dictionary of the Armenian Language, where he gave the explanations of the Classical Armenian entries in Modern Armenian.  

This indefatigable author passed away in the monastery of San Lazzaro on March 3, 1854. 
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)

Thank you for your help.
How a Star Was Born

Has it occurred to you that the English “star” and its Armenian translation աստղ ( asdgh ) are also cousins?

The Armenian name Աստղիկ ( Asdghig ) is sometimes translated as Stella because of their formal resemblance, even though Asdghig was the goddess of love and fertility in Armenian pagan mythology and Stella Maris (“star of the sea”) was actually one of the Latin names for the Virgin Mary.

Actually, Asdghig was the Armenian counterpart for a goddess well-known in various Near Eastern mythologies. The ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna, associated with love, fertility, and other attributes, was later worshipped by the Semitic civilizations of Mesopotamia (Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians) as Ishtar. Ishtar was adored in adjacent lands of Semitic population like Syria and Canaan as Ashtart, which became in Hebrew Ashtoret, better known under the Hellenized form Astarte. The symbol of Inanna-Ishtar-Ashtart was the planet Venus, the most brilliant star in the sky.

It has been suggested that, ultimately, the name Ishtar was derived from the Proto-Semitic feminine noun *attar “heaven, star,” which may share a common origin with the Proto-Indo-European word *h-ster.

This reconstructed word was the common source for most Indo-European languages. Think of Greek aster (compare English “astronomy, astronaut,”), Iranian star, Latin stella (compare English “stellar”), German stern, and many other lesser known words. The Armenian word asdgh (also spelled աստեղ/asdegh in Classical Armenian) seems to be in the middle of its Greek and Latin counterparts, and not that far from English.

Let’s note that the suffix –իկ (ig) has a diminutive, but also endearing quality. Think of the Armenian common word asdghig with the meaning “small star,” equivalent to the English word “starlet.”  

  Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).
By C. S. Lewis

All seven volumes of the famous Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis are now available in Armenian, with the original illustrations by Pauline Baynes. The Chronicles is considered a classic of children’s literature (loved equally by adults!) and is the best-known work by noted author C.S. Lewis, originally published in London in the 1950s and in continuous publication since. The setting is in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world comprised of children, magic, mythical characters, and animals who talk. Lewis’s inspiration for the series came from various sources including traditional Christian themes, Greek and Roman mythology, and fairy tales. Well over 100 million copies have been sold in nearly 50 languages, including this recent translation into Armenian (western).
The seven books that comprise The Chronicles of Narnia are:
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The Silver Chair
5. The Horse and His Boy
6. The Magician’s Nephew
7. The Last Battle
Softcover, number of pages varies from 178 to 237.
$15.99 plus shipping and handling

For information or to order this book contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810).
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.

October 25 through December 13 (Thursdays) —Seven-part Bible Study on The Book of Revelation, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). For information please contact the church office by email ( or telephone (212) 689-5880.

November 10 —Exploring the Nicene Creed ( Havadamk ), a 3-hour seminar at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Speaker: Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). For information, contact the church office by email ( or by telephone (413) 543-4763.

November 10 and 11 —Armenian Fest 2018, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston, Rhode Island. Featuring chicken, losh and shish kebabs, and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Hamazkayin Artsakh Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and delicious Armenian pastries available all day. Saturday from noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: www.armenianfestri/ or 401-831-6399 .

November 11 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Divine Liturgy Lecture Series, 4 of 4, at sermon time, Eucharistic service and Dismissal service.

November 18 —56 th anniversary of St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Celebrant, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Details to follow.

December 2 —Banquet in honor of His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, newly-elected Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy at Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111 th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Reception 2:30 pm; dinner and program 3:30 pm.

December 9 —“What’s in a Name? The Etymology of Armenian Surnames,” a lecture by writer and editor C. K. Garabed, 1 pm in Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, sponsored by Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society—Regional Executive and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Light refreshments; free admission.

May 5, 2019 —60 th anniversary of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey. SAVE THE DATE.

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