October 8, 2020
Click each activity to be redirected to its respective webpage.
“Armenians unite! Armenians unite! Artsakh is calling you, come to our rescue,” says the popular Armenian song.

From Davit Bek in the eighteenth century to Garegin Nzhdeh in the twentieth century, from Sardarabad in the twentieth century to Artsakh in the twenty-first century, history puts us face to face before our secular enemy time and again. In different periods, under different names, with different targets, but the same goal: the annihilation of Armenians and Armenia, partial or complete. It is not the experience of genocide that tells us that, but the facts of history.

Against unrestrained and bloodthirsty tyrants, against falsifiers and mercenaries, against barbarity and crime, we are witnessing today the determination of our brave soldiers to defend our piece of land, to build a lead wall around it and to slap an intolerably silent world in its face. The phalanx of the heroes of Armenian history is now incarnated in the body and soul of our lionhearted young men, who fearlessly, even at the price of their lives, are writing a new page of the thirty-year epic of Artsakh.

We can already draw several lessons from this ten-day war, which should become the object of analysis not only for our political class but also for our people from all walks of life. Above everything, we cannot accept any longer that, at the most perilous hour of the homeland, people remember about giving sermons on unity. 

Otherwise, the blood spilled now by the hundreds of our heroes would be and will be in vain. And if now senseless disputes and power struggles, which until ten days ago still were part of the fabric of our daily life, have ceased, this does not mean that tomorrow we will have the right to our time-worn controversies, until a new crisis arises. Repeating the same thing over and over will not bring us to a different result. 

The spirit of unity demands that we place the homeland above our particular interests both in wartime and peacetime. That will lead us to victory. When the guns fall silent, it must become the foundation to consolidate the victory in peace. 

The victory at Sardarabad gave birth to the Republic of Armenia. The victory of Artsakh must also be the opportunity for a new birth.

On Sunday, October 4, 2020, in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of Antelias, during Divine Liturgy, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I prayed to God to protect the Armenian soldiers, who are paying with their lives our God-given right to be a free and independent nation. His Holiness prayed to the Lord to keep Armenia and Artsakh from visible and invisible enemies, quick recovery for the wounded and peace for the souls of the Armenians who fell for peace.

His Holiness has established ties within ecumenical circles, explaining the true cause of the Artsakh war, the participation of Turkey and terrorists alongside the Azerbaijani forces, and our divine right to our own independent state. The World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches have condemned the Azerbaijani attacks and urged for negotiations.

Catholicos Aram I has called for all prelacies and Armenian individuals to make donations through the Armenia Fund and other means as the best way to bring practical support the Armenian Armed Forces.

On Sunday, October 11, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

Join us this Sunday at 10:30 AM by visiting ArmenianPrelacy.org/Livestream

Every day, every community of the Eastern Prelacy hold prayers for peace and security in Artsakh and Armenia. Please follow the updates from your Parish. 

On Saturday, October 10, at 12:30 pm, young Armenians will demonstrate in Manhattan to demand “truthful reporting.” A march will take place leaving from the headquarters of NBC on 50th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, to the headquarters of ABC, on 66th Street and Columbus Avenue to demand networks to report true facts about the aggression by Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia.
On Sunday, October 11, at 1:00 PM, a demonstration will take place on St. Vartan Square organized by the “Knights of Vartan” and the sponsorship of all New York Armenian organizations to protest the attack against Artsakh.  

On the initiative of Mayor Mike Ghassali of the Montvale, New Jersey and organized by ARF “Tro” Committee, a ceremony took place on Sunday, October 4, at the borough’s Memorial Park to remember the 1915-1923 Genocide of two million Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs, and Greeks before a commemorative plaque. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, presided the ceremony.

MC Karine Birazian Shnorhokian invited the Homenetmen scouts to present the American and Armenian flags, followed by a solo performance by Tvene Baronian of the U.S. and Armenian anthems.

The Prelate then led the prayer, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Eastern Prelacy’s Vicar General and Pastor the Sts. Vartanantz Church, Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian, Pastor of St. Leon Church, and Rev. Joseph Garabedian, Pastor of the Armenian Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Ghassali delivered a message, saying the plaque stood as a testimony to the victory of truth that was impossible to stop. The son of an Armenian mother and an Assyirian father who were survivors of the Genocide, Mr. Ghassali said there is no power in the world that can bury the truth, calling on the genocidal state to recognize its unprecedented crime and offer reparations.

In representation of the Armenian community but especially the 1.5 million martyrs, the Prelate thanked Mr. Ghassali for his concern regarding the Genocide victims. The unburied martyrs are united spiritually to us now, the Prelate says, blessing the loyalty and dedication of their descendants.

The ceremony ended with the public’s participation and a prayer.

It is with profound sorrow that His Eminence, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, and the Executive and Religious Councils have learned that on the morning of Wednesday, October 7, Lebanese Armenian tenor Kevork Hadjian died in combat in Artsakh. The Artsakh Republic fights off the onslaught of the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as groups of terrorists Turkey has transported from Syria into Azerbaijan.

Born in Anjar, Lebanon, in 1971, Hadjian was a graduate of the Seminary of the Catholicosate at Bikfaya and an ordained deacon. He studied at the “Parsegh Ganachian” musical institute of Lebanon’s Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society and previously conducted the children’s choir of Anjar’s “Harach” college, which won first place in the “Parsegh Ganachian” competition among 14 choruses of Armenian schools. He has performed with the “Shnorhali” Choirrus of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, “Kousan” Chorus, “Gomidas” Chorus, and “Fayha” Choirrus of Tripoli, among others. He has also performed solo concerts in Lebanon, Syria, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Armenia, Artsakh, Cyprus, Canada, and across the United States. He gavehas given multiple concerts to Armenian troops serving on the front lines in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh Republic/NKR) and in Armenian border towns. Since 2008, he recorded several CDs of Armenian classic, popular, and patriotic music.

In New York, Kevork Mr. Hadjian conducted Hamazkayin’s Armenian Cultural and Educational Society of New York’s “Dzirani” children’s choir and was invited to participate in the Easter ceremonies, including at its debut performance on April 29, 2012, at the Saint Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral for several years, where he also served as the choir conductor.

With financial support from the Naregatsi Art Institute in 2008, he recorded his first CD, entitled “Firstling Inspired by Gomidas”, which includes 19 songs by Komitas with piano accompaniment by Levon Javadian.

Hadjian repatriated to Armenia with his family in 2005, and in 2015 received the citizenship of the homeland.

“We are the nation with the most martyrs in the world, and martyrdom is not an end in itself, it is just eternity, witnessed by our 1.5 million saints and the thousands of martyrs in Artsakh's struggle for survival,” had said the tenor, in words that now sound ominously prescient, in an interview with yerkir.am.

May God bless him in His eternal glory and comfort his loved ones.
Today the Scriptural text for our reflection is from 2 Corinthians 13.5-10. The Apostle instructs the believers in Corinth by saying, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test.” The first word of this statement by itself is so powerful and pragmatic not only in our faith life, but also in our daily life, and covers every aspect of our physical, intellectual, and behavioral existence.

As human beings, we are invited to examine ourselves not annually, seasonally, daily, but with each and every thought and action we may have or do. Is it possible to imagine a mathematician, an engineer, a scientist, a physician to ignore errors in their calculations, research, or surgeries? Is it acceptable for a driver, an acrobat, or any craftsman to disregard a wrong movement? Errors are inevitable, but their denial can result in fatal consequences individually and collectively.

Hence, the Apostle invites us to examine ourselves and our faith constantly. The criteria of our examination should be by our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, the goal should be our purification and salvation.

It is critical to examine our faith because its impact is unavoidable on our life. Our faith embodies our thoughts, convictions, ideals, aspirations, actions, and behavior. Our faith directs our relationship with the world, be it family, community, nation, mankind, and Mother Nature. Regardless of our age, gender, or race, all of us constantly we are confronted by things that challenge our values, health, comfort, and existence. Nevertheless, the response may differ based upon our faith. That faith might be self-centered or might be an ideology, and accordingly we handle a situation. Within the limits of our sermon our focus is on Christian understanding as proposed by the Apostle.

When we examine ourselves to see whether Jesus is alive in us, it means that we are in the process of a sacred mystery of transformation, serenity, and renewal. Looking at Jesus, who shared our human nature, eventually leads us to share the blessings of His Divine nature. Jesus Christ as much as He is human, He also is the fullness of Divinity with the Father and Holy Spirit. Isaiah, almost six centuries before the birth of the Emmanuel, prophesied about Him, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord…Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins” (Is 11.2-5). The prophecies have been fulfilled in the Incarnated God, Jesus Christ. Therefore, by carrying Him, we do not carry only memories of a good teacher, a hero, or a wonder-maker, but the living existential power of the Living Source of Life. Carrying Jesus Christ means carrying an eternally functioning heart which pumps fresh blood and constantly renews our physical, intellectual, spiritual health and welfare.

Life in general teaches us that testing is imperative in establishing healthy, strong, and productive conditions at individual and collective levels. To avoid this reality is never to our advantage. In order to escape testing, fear, doubt, or any other unreasonable excuse result only damage. Thus, as rational beings, as believers, if we seriously look for our own interest, we should never hesitate to test our faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ from the very beginning of His mission, made clear that He came to share our weaknesses, to save and not to judge. He descended to earth so that we might ascend with Him into the heavens. Therefore, let us take advantage of this free offer of testing, and see if Jesus is alive in our faith, thoughts, and deeds. Let us renew ourselves not haphazardly, but with regular discipline, with the twinkling of an eye, and with the beating of heart with Jesus Christ to whom with the all-loving Father and life-giving Holy Spirit is befitting glory and honor, now and always forever. Amen.
It is no overstatement to say that 2020 has been overtaxing for everyone. As Armenia and Artsakh are struggling for survival and our community in Lebanon is making enormous efforts to regain their footing, we at the Prelacy have redoubled our efforts to serve our faithful in every parish under its jurisdiction and our nation in a year that has seen so many unbearable losses to the Covid-19 pandemic and now to war against our historical enemies. More than ever in our living memory, we need your support. Please give as generously as you can, “remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

Please help us keep alive the huge achievements we have attained with our joint efforts. We will emerge stronger with the hand you lend us.
As of today, the Eastern Prelacy fundraising for our brothers and sisters, thanks to the generous donations of our faithful and the cooperation of our clergy, has reached the amount of 357,423 dollars. Your contribution is distributed to our brothers and sisters by the Lebanon Central Coordinating Committee headed by Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate. 
To see the eighth list of donations, click here.
To see the general list of donations, click here.
Bible readings for Sunday, October 11, Fifth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are, Isaiah 19:1-11; Galatians 2:1-10; Mark 12:35-44.
Mark 12:35-44
While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’
David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Galatians 2:1-10
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us—we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those leaders contributed nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, October 10, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Translators, one of the most beloved feasts. There are, in fact, two such commemorations in our liturgical calendar. One is on the Thursday following the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, which can occur in June or July; the other is on the second Saturday of October.
The October commemoration focuses on the creation of the Armenian alphabet (406) and on the accomplishments of the Holy Translators. Mesrob Mashdots, the founder of the alphabet, and Catholicos Sahag, together with some of their students, translated the Bible. Schools were opened and the works of world-renowned scholars were translated. Their work gave the Armenian Church a distinct national identity.
In modern times the entire month of October has been designated as a “Month of Culture,” thanks to His Holiness Karekin I Hovsepian, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia from 1943 to 1952. Armenians throughout the Diaspora and Armenia mark this with cultural events not only in remembrance of the past, but in celebration of modern-day scholars, theologians, writers, and translators.
Specifically remembered this Saturday along with Mesrob and Sahag are: Yeghishe, a renowned student of Sahag and Mesrob, who served as secretary to Vartan Mamigonian and wrote the great history of the Vartanantz wars; Movses of Khoren, another student of Sahag and Mesrob revered as the father of Armenian history; David the Invincible, a student of Movses, who received most of his education in Athens, where he was given his title because of his brilliance in philosophy; Gregory of Narek, who is considered the greatest poet of the Armenian nation and its first and greatest mystic; and Nerses Shnorhali, a great writer, musician, theologian, and ecumenist.
With the creation of the Armenian alphabet and the translations that followed, this group of scholars transformed the course of Armenian history forever. It is an affirmation of the popular aphorism, “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
The Holy Translators (with the invention of the alphabet) providentially provided divine instructions on earth by translating the sacred scriptures, in order to shepherd the flock of the New Israel. Let us praise God with a sweet-sounding song. 

(Canon to the Holy Translators, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
“After translating the book of Proverbs, Mesrop and his students began the translation of the New Testament. Translating the bible into any language is an enormous amount of work. It is especially daunting given the absence of any Armenian literature prior to the Bible. Contrast this with the translation of the Bible into English. The most famous English translation is the King James Version, completed in 1611. The earliest English Bible was produced by John Wycliffe in 1382. But even before Wycliffe, there was a tradition of writing in English from which Wycliffe and subsequent translators could draw familiar expressions and phrases. The Armenian Bible, however, is the first work of Armenian literature. In translating the Bible, Sahak and Mesrop and their disciples did more than just a translation. They in essence created a new written language that would be a source and inspiration for all of the Armenian literature that would follow.”
(Light from Light: An Introduction to the History and Theology of the Armenian Church ,” by Michael B. Papazian)
Also commemorated this week:
Thursday, October 8: St. Pantaleon the Physician.
October 12: Saints Tatool, Varos, Thomas, Anthony, Kronites the hermits and the seven Khodajarags.
October 13: The Holy Apostles Ananias, Matthias, Barnabas, Philip, John, Silac, and Silvanus.

On Friday, October 2, at 7:00 pm, the community members of the Holy Trinity Church in Worcester, Massachusetts held a prayer vigil for Artsakh and Armenia, to support our soldiers, and pray for protection and peace in front of the Church's kKhatchkar. After the prayers, Der Torkom Chorbajian read His Holiness Aram I's and Archbishop Anoushavan's messages. The local AYF chapter representative spoke about the need of supporting Artsakh and the importance of spreading awareness that Artsakh is Armenia. At the end, the participants sang numerous nationalistic patriotic songs and the National Anthem of Armenia."  
The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s projects in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from children addressed to their actual or potential sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads.

This week’s letter is from Marine who lives in the village of Bagratashen, near Noyemberian, in the region of Tavoush, and is sponsored by Lucy Papazian. Her father was killed in Karabagh during previous clashes with Azerbaijanis.

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Dear Sponsor,

This little letter is for you. I am nine years old. I have a younger sister who is four years old. I love my sister and my mom very much. I am a good student and I am on the honor roll. I love to learn very much. My mother works hard so that my sister and I have a bright future.

We live with my grandparents. Their house is from wood and is falling apart, and duringwhen theit rains the roof is leakingleaks. It is summer now and it is very hot here, but it’s better to be hot than cold, because in the winter my mom worries a lot about heating the place for us. My mom hardly manages to take care of our needs. We are very grateful to you for helping us. My mom uses the money you send to buy us food.

We wish you good health, happiness and endless love. May you always be joyful.

I love you.

Click here for online sponsorship of minors up to the age of 18.

Click here for online sponsorship of orphans who become students at a higher education institution upon turning 18.

You can always contact the Prelacy by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone (212-689-7810) for the sponsorship of both minors and university students in the program of the St. Nerses the Great Organization in Armenia.
The Armenians traces the evolution of Armenia and Armenian collective identity from its beginnings to the Gharabagh movement. Razmik Panossian analyzes different elements of Armenian identity construction and argues that national identity is modern, predominantly subjective, and based on a political sense of belonging. Yet he also acknowledges the crucial role of history, art, literature, religious practice, and commerce in preserving the national memory and shaping the cultural identity of the Armenian people.

The author shows how a series of landmark events led to a “multilocal” evolution of identity in various places in and outside of Armenia. Today, these numerous identities contribute to deep divisions and tensions within the Armenian nation, but considering the diversity of this single nation, Panossian questions the theoretical assumption that nationalism must be homogenizing.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore
(books@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810)


Some of Arakel Sarukhan’s books
Birth of Arakel Saroukhan (October 13, 1863)
Arakel Saroukhan (Saroukhanian) was a lesser known, but prolific historian and philologist.
He was born in the village of Ardanouch (district of Artvin), which was annexed to the Russian Empire after the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 until 1921. He was a graduate of the lyceum of the Mekhitarists of Vienna in Constantinople, where he studied with the famous Armenian language scholar Fr. Arsen Aydenian. He returned to his birthplace and worked as a teacher. He contributed to the daily Mshak (Tiflis) from 1887 and to the journal Handes Amsorya of the Viennese Mekhitarists from its inception in 1887. He later wrote for the daily Arevelk of Constantinople. From 1894-1911, he was first agent and then director of the oil and trade company of famous businessman and benefactor Alexander Mantashian (Mantasheff) in Batum, Baku, Tiflis, and St. Petersburg, and then represented various foreign oil companies from 1911-1917.

He wrote the travelogues “The Russian Shore of the Black Sea” (1895) and “In the Caucasian Mountains” (1896), which contain valuable topographic, ethnological, and historical information about the Armenian communities of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, as well as local and immigrant people. In the book “The Armenian issue and the National Constitution in Turkey” (1912), Saroukhan presented the economic and political situation of the Ottoman Empire, the European diplomacy in the Armenian Question, the role of Armenian public figures in the Ottoman constitutional movement, et cetera. His memoir “Alexander Mantashian, the great trader and benefactor” (1931), Saroukhan gave information about the origin and development of the Armenian capital in the Caucasus, as well as the expansion of oil production in Baku.

After the October Revolution of 1917, Saroukhan moved to Europe and lived first in the Netherlands from the early 1920s, and then moved to Belgium. He wrote literary works, of which the most known is the realistic novel “The Mysterious Girl and Her Secret” (1924). He published many articles in Handes Amaroya about Armenian intellectuals of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, such as Rafael Patkanian, Raffi, Gabriel Sundukian, Perch Proshian, Grigor Artzruni, Leo, and others; the cultural institutions of the Armenians in the Caucasus, their political movements, etcetera. On the basis of archival material found in the Netherlands and Belgium, he wrote the monographs “Holland and the Armenians in the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries” (1926) and “Belgium and the Armenians” (1937), which contain a rich trove of information about Dutch-Armenian and Belgian-Armenian relations from the Middle Ages. Saroukhan also investigated the economic, political, and cultural relations of Armenians and Georgians (“Georgia and the Armenians,” 1939).

This prolific author passed away in Brussels (Belgium), on February 6, 1949.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org). 
Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Lebanon Relief Fund)

Crossroads welcomes your letters (English and/or Armenian), as well as parish news, photographs, and calendar items. The deadline for submitting items is Tuesday evenings. Please write to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org.
(Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style)
SIAMANTO ACADEMY—SUSPENDED: This Saturday session is suspended to allow students and parents to participate in the peaceful demonstrations to protest Turkey and Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh and Armenia. Meets every Saturday via Zoom from 10:30 am-12:30 pm (ET).  For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7231.

TEACHERS TRAINING PROGRAM – This Saturday session is suspended to allow participation in the peaceful demonstrations. The sessions will be resumed on Saturday, October 17.

October 14—December 2: Zoom Bible Study on St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:00 pm (EST), conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). To register, please email your name, email address, and phone number to shant@armenianprelacy.org.

October 17 —St. Gregory Church, Armenian Food Festival To-Go, Noon-5:00 pm, on the church premises at 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, MA. Limited quantities: Pre-order and pre-pay by October 13. For more information and to place an order, please call (413) 262-7251 or email: spariseau@charter.net

November 21 —Annual Armenian Food Drive-Thru Festival, held at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. 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/