Name Day Celebration of Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County

On Saturday, March 30, 2019, the Armenian Church observed the feast of the Forty Martyrs, which is the name day of Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County. Thus, on March 31st, the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Judge, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and conducted the blessing of madagh at Forty Martyrs Church. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian and Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian assisted at the altar.

“When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” The Prelate began his sermon with this verse from Luke 18, taken from the day’s Gospel reading on the Parable of the Persistent Widow which indirectly demonstrates God’s mercy toward us. His Eminence briefly recounted the parable in which an unjust judge who neither feared God nor regarded man finally gave in to the persistent widow and decided to hear her case if only to stop her from troubling him.

Great Lent should lead us to complete cleansing and renewal of our inner beings and draw us closer to God as we seek His protection and place our absolute trust in Him, no matter the extent of our troubles, with the faith that that sooner or later He will hear us, if not on this earth then in the life to come, said the Prelate. Speaking on the Forty Martyrs, His Eminence stated that though they earned honor and recognition for their valor, they focused instead on earning the trust and favor of our Heavenly King and credited their triumphs to their faith and trust in the Lord.

“In Luke 18 we read, ‘pray and do not lose heart.’ Throughout our lives we will face countless tests, difficulties, and temptations, in our personal, family, and community life. No matter the circumstances, we are to keep praying without tiring and keep trusting in Him in the example of the Forty Martyrs and of the persistent widow, for God will answer in His time and according to His will. Let us pray for the Lord to grant us a pure and clean heart so that we can pray sincerely and let us seek the intercession of the Forty Martyrs to remain strong and unshaken in our faith and principles, so that we too may be faithful servants of God and be worthy of receiving heavenly crowns,” concluded the Prelate.

During requiem service, prayers were offered for the souls of the benefactors of the Church, hall, and School, and all servants and sponsors who contributed to the advancement of the Church.

Afterward, the Prelate was led in a procession to “Gugasian” Hall for the blessing the madagh, which this year was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Levon and Zaruhi Gugasian in memory of their parents Haig and Vartuhi Gugasian and Manuel and Veronica Keuylian. A donation was also made by Mr. and Mrs. Vagharsh and Zvart Keuylian and other sponsors. The madagh luncheon organized by the parish Ladies Guild followed, during which words of appreciation and commendation were expressed. In his message, the Prelate once again congratulated the parish community and called for unwavering faith and unrelenting prayer inspired by the Forty Martyrs. With thankfulness he noted that the day before His Holiness Catholicos Aram I re-consecrated Forty Martyrs Church in Aleppo, which serves as a powerful expression of the Armenian people’s faith and perseverance in the face of persecution in the example of the Forty Martyrs.

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