Divine Liturgy on the Feast of St. Vardan the Warrior and His Companions
On February 11, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church commemorated the feast day of St. Vardan the Warrior and the 1036 Companions. On this occasion, the Brotherhood of the Mother See, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; attended the Divine Liturgy in the St. Gayane Monastery of the Mother See. The celebrant was His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, Director of the External Relations and Protocol Department of the Mother See. During the Holy Service, in his sermon, Archbishop Nathan spoke about the sacrament of the St. Vardan the Warrior and His Companions; referring in detail to the historical circumstances of the time, in which the Armenians withstood until the last drop of blood and protected their national identity, faith and the Church. “More than 15 centuries have passed since the day they showed heroism and courage for the Homeland and the nation in the famous War of Vardanants and the Battle of Avarayr. During these 15 centuries, the Armenian people have fought many wars and battles, but the Battle of Avarayr has its special, unique place in our history, in the soul, heart and everyday life of our people. … It is very important for our history, our thoughts and consciousness, that it was due to the Battle of Avarayr, the War of Vardanants, that the sanctification of the Armenian people and the glorification of the Armenian Apostolic Mother Church took place. Over 15 centuries, sanctified and glorified, as a unit, as a nation, we live in this world. 1500 years have passed since the Battle of Avarayr, but, unfortunately, in the course of 1500 years, that struggle has not even ended. The Armenian Avarayr continues today as well”, stated in part Archbishop Nathan, noting, that even today, the Armenian people is forced to defend their identity, beliefs and values, and the Christian spirit. On behalf of the Clergy and the faithful, His Eminence Archbishop Nathan congratulated His Holiness on the occasion of His Naming Day, whishing peace and courage to continue the Avarayr of nowdays and to conquer it. Archbishop Nathan wished that the Lord bestow His power abundantly on the Armenian Patriarch, so that His Pontifical staff will always be high and lead the nation towards further victories, and the Divine Blessings. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a Pontifical Prayer Service was offered, during which a prayer was raised to God for the eternal vibrancy of the Armenian Spiritual Center, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; and for the longevity and productive enthronement of the Pontiff of All Armenians.