Celebrating the Legacy of our Sts. Vartanants

On Thursday, February 7, 2013, the Armenian Church and nation observed the Feast of St. Vartanants, the first recorded battle in defense of our Christian faith.  The battle which was fought on the plains of Avarayr in 451 AD was a spiritual victory for the Armenian nation, granting them freedom to worship our Christian faith.  Through their martyrdom, St. Vartan and his 1036 soldiers became symbols of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, and undying faith.

The legacy of the Vartanants saints was commemorated within the Prelacy on Thursday with a special evening service of prayers, hymns, and nationalistic and patriotic songs held at the North Hollywood Parish.  H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the service, in which clergy members participated.

In his inspiring message to the faithful, the Prelate exalted the virtues of the Vartanants saints and advised as to how we, today, must follow in their ideal example and path.  “Through their struggle and martyrdom, St. Vartan and his combatants proclaimed that no matter what difficulties or crises the Armenian people are faced with, we will always recognize the Bible as our father and the Armenian Apostolic Church as our mother; and as long as we, as a people, defend against any and all obstacles that come to destroy our faith, national identity, and moral values, then we are worthy of being called their heirs.  On the eve of the battle, St. Vartan and his companions, and the cleric Ghevont and his fellow clergymen celebrated Liturgy and received Holy Communion as a pledge that they were ready to shed their blood and become martyrs for their faith in Jesus Christ, for the glory of God, and for the preservation of our national identity, so that we would remain always Armenian Christians. Today, we renew our spirits by the legacy of their faith and courage, and we rejoice in the legacy of Vartan Mamigonian as the glory of the Armenian nation and the crown of the Armenian Church.  Vartan Mamigonian has been described as exceptional in his courage, virtues, and faith, wise in his thoughts and messages, compelling in his words, and adept in his works.  As the heirs of St. Vartan and St. Ghevont, and as clergy and community leaders dedicated to serving our church and nation, more than ever we need courage, wisdom, and strong-will in our service for the glory of God  and for the progress of our church and nation.  We too must proclaim that we accept the Bible as our father and the Armenian Apostolic Church as our mother, and that we will always remain faithful to the Bible and its teachings, to our religious heritage, and to the canons of our church; this is our responsibility as religious and national leaders.  In his address to his soldiers, St. Vartan had one request of them, and that was to keep away from iniquity.  Today the same is required of us.  In their ideal example, we are to cleanse any treachery and deceit from our hearts, souls, and thoughts so that we do not mislead our flock from the righteous path.  Let us then, with renewed spirits, bow in reverence to the memory of our Sts. Vartanants, and as their worthy heirs pledge to continue to lead our flock on the path of righteousness with faith, integrity, courage, and wisdom, for the glory of God and the splendor of our nation”, concluded the Prelate.

The faithful then joined clergy in the spiritually uplifting and moving singing of beloved traditional songs dedicated specifically to this feast. The service came to a close with the Cilician, Pontifical, and Armenian national anthems and the Prelate’s blessing.

Clergy and faithful were then hosted to a reception organized by the parish Ladies Guild.

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