Antelias: Commemoration of the feast of Assumption in Bikfaya

Press Release
Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Fr.Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E-mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version:

Watch the recorded video here:

Thousan ds of faithful attended the blessing
of grapes by His Holiness Aram I

Said His Holiness ARAM I

In his pontifical message on the occasion of the feast of Assumption, His
Holiness Aram I emphasized the vital importance of faith, unity, and
compassion. Thousands of people took part in this traditional ceremony which
is also the pilgrimage day of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia’s
Bikfaya Monastery. The celebration of the Eucharist, held on Saturday
evening by bishop Dirair Panossian, was preceded by special worships and
Bible studies in the Chapel of the monastery throughout the week. Youth and
women from different parts of Beirut attended church services and the Bible
Studies which were conducted by Vartabeds and deacons of the Seminary.

In his message His Holiness Aram I reminded the people, that faith should
become the basis of the life of any person who claims to be Christian. He
said: "Faith is at the heart of the Gospel. Being Christian means living a
faith-driven life. Being Christian means translating faith into a quality of
life marked by love, compassion, engagement and service. Faith also implies
faithfulness to all values and principles that constitute the essence and
the purpose of Christianity".

His Holiness strongly stressed the imperative of unity which "is not a
conceptual notion, but a firm commitment to a way of life based on common
values". Referring to the current situation in Lebanon, Aram I reminded that
"unity is the source of strength. It calls for participation and commitment.
It must be articulated concretely in all areas of our community life". His
Holiness identified three areas of unity: the inner unity of the Lebanese
Armenian community, the unity of Lebanese people in which the Armenian
community must play an important role, and pan-Armenian unity.

Speaking about the importance of compassion, His Holiness considered it an
essential Christian virtue: "As Christians each of us must become a ‘Good
Samaritan’ helping the poor families, the needy students, the refugees, the
homeless, marginalized and oppressed. For me, the Pontiff said, the real
Christian is the one who articulates his or her Christianness by identifying
himself or herself with the suffering people. The church must become a
church for the poor and the oppressed. The church should go beyond its
institutional boundaries to serve the people".

His Holiness appealed to the Armenian Community in Lebanon to help those
refugees who have been forced to leave their homes and villages in South
Lebanon. "We must not forget, that the Lebanese people, Christians and
Moslems, accepted us in this country after the Armenian Genocide, and they
shared their bread with us. This is the time that we reciprocate by tangibly
expressing the same compassion towards our Lebanese sisters and brothers".

At the end of the ceremony according to the tradition of the Armenian Church
His Holiness blessed grapes and ‘Madagh’.

View the photos here: tm


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of the
Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

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