A few decades ago, the Armenian believers used to walk barefoot from the various regions of
True to this old Armenian tradition, a group of Seminary students walked from Bikfaya to Antelias as a symbol of a renewal of their faith with the intention of becoming worthy of the blessings of this holy Hand. This national relic has traveled with the Catholicosate of Cilicia through the paths of Genocide and deportation and today once again extends its blessings to the entire Armenian nation.
Bishop Dirayr Panossian celebrated the mass and delivered a sermon on the occasion of the day that marks St. Gregory the Illuminator?s imprisonment into Khor Virab (the pit) and the Catholicosate?s Pilgrimage Day. His Holiness Aram I presided over the Church service and the procession of the Patron Saint?s Right Hand as well as other relics. Members of the Cilician Brotherhood, priests, guests and a large number of faithful participated in the procession.
His Grace Dirayr Panossian focused on the history of the See of Cilicia in his sermon, mentioning how the late Catholicos His Holiness Sahag II Khabayan had described this pilgrimage day as an opportunity to rise from the Genocide and strengthen faith.
He pointed out that since the day His Holiness Sahag II put Holy Chrism in the river of Antelias and baptized hundreds of Armenian orphans there, the land of Antelias became holy, gave birth to new seeds that strengthened by Saint Gregory the Illuminator dedicated themselves to the mission of the Armenian Church and nation.
The ?Shenorhali? Choir of the Catholicosate participated in the service singing the Badarak.
Lead by His Holiness Aram I, the procession marched inside the Cathedral because of the pouring rain outside. His Holiness gave blessings with the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator and priests followed with other relics and crosses blessing the believers who kissed the relics with great faith.
A blessing of water with the holy Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator was then held on the altar of the Cathedral. His Holiness Aram I read a special prayer for the healing of the sick and the strengthening of faith: ?From the Antelias Cathedral of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, we, the pilgrim children, appeal to you St. Gregory, renowned pilgrim of our Great God. Oh our Illuminator Father bless our entire nation in
The Patron Saint?s Right Hand was then placed on the Cathedral?s altar, where believers came to kiss it throughout the day.
Press Release of the Armenian Catholicosate Of
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