Name Day Celebration of Sts. Dertad and Ashkhen and Pontifical Blessing

On Sunday, June 27, 2021, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy at the “Dikran and Zarouhi Der Ghazarian” hall at the Prelacy, at the Crescenta Valley Parish delivered the Pontifical blessing on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the election and ordination of H.H. Aram I Catholicos, and conducted the blessing of the madagh in the Prelacy courtyard on the occasion of the Name Day of The Prelacy Chapel , which bears the name of the first Christian king and queen of Armenia.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and members of the clergy participated during the Divine liturgy. Members of the Executive Council, benefactors, as well as representatives of community organizations were among the large number of faithful in attendance.

During the Divine Liturgy, the Prelate addressed the 26th anniversary of the election and ordination of His Holiness Aram I Catholicos with filial love and on behalf of the Western Prelacy he wished inexhaustible strength and green pastures towards the Catholicos and his mission, stating; “We praise God, who once again granted us spiritual joy, and guided our steps towards the church and directed us to fill our minds, souls and lives with spiritual values. Jesus Christ promised mankind when He said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.”

The Prelate added, “To have a full life means to have Christ in your life, which means to have given a lot of attention in our inner life to the God who created us and wanted to see us on the right path.” At the same time, he reminded the faithful that as human beings, we all have weaknesses and imperfections, sometimes consciously and sometimes unknowingly, but our faith has always opened its doors to all and invites us to God; not on a weekly basis, rather on a daily basis to fill our lives with divine light.

“Behold, the message and the invitation of life, which is opened before us, and His name is Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Lord once again informs us, ‘I am the door of life,’ and invites us to enter and partake in the sweetness of eternity. When we pass in front of doors of different colors, shapes and sizes, large, small, modest or beautiful, sometimes we wonder what is hidden behind that door. Therefore, today, we are invited to think about what is behind that door. There is the secret of life that we sometimes mistakenly seek and want to find or see in various places, from lavish tables to lavish houses, but there, even in those places, we are not satisfied when we do not have Christ at the center of our lives” stressed the Prelate.

In his message, the Prelate also mentioned that yesterday, the Armenian Church celebrated the Feast of St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen, who declared Christianity as the state religion of Armenia in 301. He briefly explained the historical facts of the event and congratulated the Name Day of the Western Prelacy chapel, as well as congratulated those who bear the names of Dertad and Askhen. On this occasion, the Prelate specifically congratulated Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian, with whose benevolence the Chapel was named in the memory of her late husband, Alexan Pilavjian and offered prayers for the soul of the benefactor.

Having just returned from Lebanon, Bishop Donoyan also mentioned that, he has brought with his the blessings of Aram I Catholicos towards the faithful of the Western Prelacy. The Prelate then conveyed his impressions of the current challenging life of the Lebanese-Armenians in the following words: “Dear faithful, during the first part of my message, I invited us all to be satisfied with our lives, because sometimes we do not notice and value what we have. Because, often, when people adopt a Western lifestyle are accustomed to always having more, but lucky are those who feel financially secure and strive to be spiritually satisfied.”

He stressed that people in Lebanon live a very difficult life, and they face great difficulties in being able to have even the most basic things. “It’s not my intend to impoverish the Lebanese-Armenians, rather so that we may share what God has given us with our friends living in Lebanon. We must become God’s hand and reach out to our relatives. “Lord, you call on me,” Jesus says, “but he who does not receive the prisoner in my name, who does not give bread to the hungry, does not give water to the thirsty, and does not tend to the sick, I will not recognize him in my kingdom,” then exhorted the faithful to share what they have with their relatives and friends in Lebanon, who are plunged into unspeakable uncertainty.

At the conclusion of the Divine liturgy, the Prelate led a procession and blessed the madagh, which was sponsored by the Vice Chair of the Executive Council Mr. Mher Der Hovannesian, in memory of his late wife Satig Der Ohanessian.

We also inform you with pleasure that on behalf of the Los Angeles City Council, Mr. Greg Martayan presented a congratulatory letter to the Prelate.

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