Archive for April, 2014

Surrounded by Our Martyrs

April 23rd, 2014    |    No Comments »

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and scourging, chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned.  They were sawn in two.  They were killed with the sword.  They went about in animal skins—destitute, af­flicted, ill-treated.  The world was not worthy of them—yet they wan­dered over deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

All of these people, though their faith was well-attested, did not receive what was promised.  For God had foreseen something better for us: that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

And now we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses…

(Epistle to the Hebrews 11:35-12:1)

On this day of solemn remembrance, we offer prayers for our beloved ancestors who perished in the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

We recall the words of Scripture that seem to echo with their sufferings—even as they echo with our own awareness that “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,” whose vindication in this world lies in our hands.

Today—ninety-nine years after the beginning of the Genocide—we affirm our abiding hope in the resurrection of our Lord, and the promise it holds for our departed countrymen, and for all mankind.

With prayers,


Archbishop Khajag Barsamian


A khatchkar in the forest near Kashatagh in Artsakh. Photographed by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian.

A khatchkar in the forest near Kashatagh in Artsakh. Photographed by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian.

Living the Resurrection

April 15th, 2014    |    No Comments »

“What does it mean to walk with Christ and live the Resurrection?” writes Archbishop Khajag Barsamian in this year’s Easter Message.

What would such a life look like?

Mary Magdalene’s story from the Gospel of St. John provides a powerful answer. Healed by Jesus, Mary is mentioned in all four gospels, and generally listed first whenever the women are mentioned (except when she stands with Mary, Jesus’ mother, at the cross). She was clearly a formidable presence among Jesus’ followers. Most importantly for us, she sets the example for a life transformed by the Lord, having accompanied him throughout his travels and in his darkest hours—even to Jerusalem, where she saw Christ crucified, and laid to rest in the tomb. Finally, she was the first, according to John, to see the risen Lord and proclaim his resurrection. “Go!” Jesus told her. And go she did, with the joyful words: “I have seen the Lord!”

Click on the following links to continue reading the Primate’s message in English and Armenian.

Mikhail Nesterov, "The Empty Tomb" (1889).

Mikhail Nesterov, “The Empty Tomb” (1889).