On Sunday, October 1, on occasion of the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak and the day of support for Artsakh and the Artsakh Armenians, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Cathedral of the Monastery of Antelias. His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western United States, was the celebrant.
In his sermon, Bishop Torkom remarked on the importance of the Holy Cross of Varak, a feast unique to the Armenian Church and the last one of the four of the Holy Cross. In reference to the “crucifixions” of the Armenian people throughout history, he highlighted the strong faith demonstrated by our people in the face of suffering.
Bishop Torkom said that the feasts of the Holy Cross are opportunities to reaffirm the driving force of the Cross in our life and the saving force of crucified Christ. In reference to the present situation, he said that our national identity and our Christian faith are inextricably linked.
“God, mysterious and many are your ways; your saving miracles are unintelligible as today we need Your all-healing and victorious intervention more than ever,” he said. “The Armenian nation and homeland, the displaced and bereaved Armenians of Artsakh, the wounded and hungry Armenian children, the mothers of martyred heroes who fought like lions, sisters and brothers, the treacherously occupied sublime land of Artsakh, and still, under Your vigilant gaze, Armenia, caught in uncertainty and threats while the Diaspora, whose sufferings are unheard, implore for the power of your Holy Cross from all corners of the world.”
He urged the faithful not to despair. “As in the days of the Genocide, thanks to the devoted work of the Great House of Cilicia, with help from God, it has been possible to provide… aid to Armenia and Artsakh,” he said, adding that the Holy See continues to stand by its people.
At the end of his homily, he thanked Catholicos Aram I for all the initiatives undertaken for the benefit of Artsakh, including a new committee created by the Holy See to assist the displaced Armenians of Artsakh.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a special prayer in support of Artsakh and its Armenians, the defense of this part of the homeland and for the souls of our martyred heroes.