Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Saturday, August 17th, 2019, the Armenian Church marked the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Pilgrimage Day of St. Mary Monastery in front of the open-air altar, in Bikfaya. His Holiness presided over the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian, and sung by the “Naregatsi” children’s choir, led by V. Rev. Fr. Zareh Najarian.
At the end of the service, His Holiness proceeded to the altar, led by a procession, and conducted the blessing of the grapes and the sacrifice (madagh). Subsequently, he delivered his pontifical message concentrating on two main topics: family and school.
The Catholicos stated that the Armenian family is a sacred institution and to a large extent acts as a church, a school and even a homeland, therefor any threat to its values is a threat to the Armenian identity. In this regard he shed light on the Istanbul Convention and expressed his concerns. In the second part of his speech, His Holiness talked about the mission and vision of Armenian school, especially in the Armenian Diaspora.
The celebration ended with the distribution of the blessed grapes and madagh to the faithful.