On Sunday, December 6, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral presented a special cultural program featuring Virginia Davies, who shared reflections on her most recent pilgrimage to St. Minas Church in Kashatagh, Artsakh. Ms. Davies, a member of the St. Illuminator’s family and a generous friend of the Church, visited St. Minas on November 17, 2020. St. Minas sits on territory that Armenia was forced to surrender to Azerbaijani control on December 1.
Ms. Davies expressed deep concern that St. Minas and thousands of other cultural monuments would face desecration or destruction by the Azerbaijanis under their systematic policy of erasing Armenian cultural heritage, as they did in Julfa and elsewhere in Nakhichevan in 2005. But she ended her talk on an optimistic note, inspired by a lesson she said she learned from her beloved grandmother, a survivor of the Genocide. Ms. Davies recounted how her grandmother would often say to her that Armenians would one day return to their land, even though it may not happen in her lifetime or that of her children or even her grandchildren.
St. Minas Church was restored in 2009 by the Tufenkian Foundation through a generous donation by Ms. Davies.
Ms. Davies was introduced by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor of St. Illuminator’s, and Armen Morian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The event was held after Soorp Badarak in Pashalian Hall and was streamed live on St. Illuminator’s Facebook, where a video of the program may also be viewed.