Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Sunday morning, December 23rd, 2018, His Holiness Aram I presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Antelias, celebrating the feast of St Stephen, the proto deacon and martyr. On this occasion. relics of the saint were taken out from the Cilicia Museum. Bishop Magar Ashkarian celebrated the Holy Liturgy and preached the sermon in which he stated St. Stephen was a sincere, unselfish and wise person, and his mission was accomplished by the help of the Holy Spirit. The bishop called upon the faithful to always have the power of the Holy Spirit as a catalyst for a Christian life.
Following the Holy Liturgy, the Catholicos led the procession of the priests, deacons, seminarians and the faithful to the Main Hall to celebrate the feast. The seminarians honored St. Stephan reciting hymns and poetry dedicated to him, and read passages from the Holy Bible and manuscript of St. Nareg. Deacon Moushegh Karageozian read a statement on behalf his colleagues.
His Holiness concluded the celebration with a pontifical Message. He stressed that St. Stephen, being a Man of Faith, of Witness, and of Service, lived his life serving people with meekness, and addressing the deacons, he asked them to follow the saint’s example. The ceremony came into conclusion with a prayer and His Holiness blessing the deacons and the faithful.