Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Saturday, August 14th, His Holiness Aram I presided over the Feast of the Assumption of The Virgin Mary and the pilgrimage day of St. Mary Monastery.
Despite Lebanon’s multilayered crisis, the faithful were gathered at the Monastery, and many were following only to ask for the Holy Mother’s intercession to her Son Jesus Christ.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on the open-air alter by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and sung by the men’s chorus of the “Shnorhali” choir, conducted by V. Rev. Fr. Zareh Najarian.
At the end of the service, His Holiness Aram I ascended the altar with a pontifical procession and conducted the blessing of the grapes ceremony, after which he delivered his pontifical message.
His Holiness commenced his address by expressing gratitude to God stating that life is a gift from the Creator, and hence human beings should lead their lives bearing in mind accountability to Him. The Catholicos underlined that God bestowed upon human beings heavenly blessings and gave them authority, but, unfortunately, this responsibility is sometimes taken advantage of and not used for the greater good. Concluding his address, Aram I stated that it is necessary to praise and give thanks to God at all times, especially when we are in distress, because God is the way, salvation and eternity.
Note that due to the circumstances, the traditional sacrifice meal (madagh) was not prepared, and all those wishing to make donations for this preparation, instead made contributions to humanitarian projects.