Blessing of Teachers in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On August 31, ahead of the 2023-2024 academic year, the traditional Blessing of the Teachers service was offered under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; at the St. Gayane Moanstery.
The blessing service was attended by representatives of educational institutions and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia; rectors of higher educational institutions; heads of regional education departments; principals of regional secondary schools and pedagogues
At the conclusion of the Service the Catholicos of All Armenians conveyed his pontifical blessings and appreciation those present.
At the end, a reception was held in honor of the invited guests.
The Message of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians at the Blessing of the Teachers Service
Heads of Educational mission, we welcome you in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. We extend you our Pontifical blessings and appreciation on the occasion of the start of the new academic year. Today is the day of renewal of the covenant in Holy Etchmiadzin for you, to be strengthened with faith and with your dedicated work to educate the children of our nation in the Sahak-Mesropyan spirit and to contribute to the strengthening of Armenian statehood and the prosperity of our national life.
Over the centuries, the enlightenment of the mind and soul has always been and is an integral part of the soul-saving and nation-protecting mission of the Armenian Church. Our graceful fathers taught with our rich spiritual heritage and passed on the light of knowledge to the new generation, strengthening the love and zeal towards the homeland and our sacred values in the hearts of Armenians. "All evils enter a person's mind from ignorance," warns Archimandrite Yeghishe in his book describing the battle of Avarair.With this conviction and consciousness, the devoted workers of our nation engaged in the cause of education were guided, rejecting the darkness and advocating the enlightenment of the mind and primarily noticed the formation of a person with a spiritual-national description. The pioneers of this mission were the God-loving and patriotic Holy Translator Archimandrites, the medieval leaders of our universities and seminaries and the enlightened generations who studied in educational centers.
With their recorded significant achievements, they were leaders in the fields of science and education of the time. The Armenian Archimandrites selflessly served the nation and our Holy Church, considering education as a means to create a God-loving and patriotic spirit and image and preserve the national identity. Even today, the vision of the sacred educational mission of the Armenian Church is the same. However, it is noticeable that the awareness of the need to educate the new generations with the national value system has somewhat weakened in the education system of our country. With the new investing educational standards, the importance of the national self-awareness and soul-building of the new generation is reduced, which makes our children vulnerable in the processes of globalization.
Indeed, we are living in difficult times; the values honed over the centuries and rooted in the life of our nation are distorted nowadays, and instead transient and harmful ideologies, phenomena and manifestations are introduced into public life, creating a psycho-moral crisis. In the modern world characterized by the rapid development of new technologies, as well as challenges and trials, it is vitally important to provide a competitive education aimed at the formation and preservation of national identity, especially among the subjects included in the educational program, the proper teaching of patriotic subjects and the transfer of permanent values to our children. It is unacceptable and reprehensible that in the new educational system, by the decision of the government and those responsible for the education sector, there will no longer be the "History of the Armenian Church" subject that has passed the test of time, is loved by students and their parents, which strengthens the national profile, strengthens the spirit and instills a value system. It was one of the important achievements of the educational field of our newly-independent state, in the process of which the Church-state cooperation was also fruitful with various patriotic and spiritual initiatives.
Dear cultivators of education, today you are entrusted with the education and upbringing of our generations, passing on lasting values to them and creating children of a nation with an Armenian trait and stamp. Never be discouraged and depressed in this difficult time full of trials and challenges. Your work is sweet, your path, though difficult, is honorable, significant and grateful. Having before your eyes the Sahak-Mesropyan Phalanx and graceful Archimandrites and many devotees of education, continue your godly mission with more love and zeal, for the benefit of our dear children and for the welfare of our nation and state.
On this memorable day, we again convey our paternal appreciation to all of you for your commendable service, wishing you indomitable will and new accomplishments. May the good seeds you have sown bear abundant fruits and results for the progress of our lives and the bright future of our new generation.
We pray that the Almighty God will keep the Armenian world unshakable and enlighten our Holy Church and under the most careful protection of His Holy Right, protect and bless our students and pupils, be an army to the education workers who strive for knowledge, giving them constant success.
Happy and blessed new academic year.