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22 October 2019
Primate’s Message on the Feast of the Catholicon of Holy Etchmiadzin
Published - 21 June 2019

Sunday marks the Feast of the Catholic Church of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Armenian people around the globe more than ever feel the inscrutable mystery of Holy Etchmiadzin in the depth of their hearts with all its magnitude. This awesome feeling has been shared throughout centuries, from generation to generation, since the adoption of Christianity in Armenian in 301 AD, when Gregory the Enlightener had his dream of Jesus, the only Begotten Son of God descending from heaven and striking the ground of the Mother Cathedral with a golden hammer.

“Etchmiadzin” is the name of our Mother Cathedral - the first house of prayer. However, this name has become the symbol of our identity ever since our forefathers erected the magnificent cathedral in 303 AD. Moreover, Etchmiadzin has been an everlasting source of inspiration driving the first Christian nation to do great deeds of faith and courage.

Etchmiadzin is the embodiment of our collective Christian character carved with the specific traits of our history and culture, deeply rooted in the Armenian Highlands, the country of Ararat, a geographic landmark known since the time of Noah.

Nations of the world knew the Armenian people through Etchmiadzin, and through its mystery, our ethnic complexity was deciphered. In fact, Armenia and Etchmiadzin are so identical that we cannot practically separate them.

The best way to meaningfully celebrate the Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin is to renew our covenant with God and walk through the path of righteousness as taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Additionally, we should pledge our love and loyalty to the Mother Church, revere its sacred traditions, and enrich our lives with moral and spiritual values.

The bells of Holy Etchmiadzin proclaimed the independence of New Armenia with its tricolor proudly flattering in the celestial blue horizon as the bold symbol of our resurrected nation. This reinstates our assertion that without Holy Etchmiadzin our people would never ever have Vartanantz, Sardarabad and the First Republic.

On the auspicious occasion of the Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin, we exhort you to live your God-given lives with the vision of Etchmiadzin. Always remember that we are all born from the same baptismal font and bear the same Holy Chrism on our forehead. Hence, we are all the faithful children of our spiritual mother, the Holy Etchmiadzin, which nurtured and nourished us with the Word of God.

We appeal to you at a time when the Mother Cathedral is undergoing major structural and architectural restorations. The strengthening of the edifice of the Mother Cathedral has always been the focal point of our pontiffs. During the pontificate of Kevork the VI and his successor Vazken I of blessed memories, the cathedral was partially renovated through the efforts of national benefactors, namely Calouste Gulbenkian, Alex manoogian and others. Now it is our turn to join forces and contribute to the renovation efforts, thus ensuring the perpetuity and stability of Holy Etchmiadzin.