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Armenian Faithful of Tbilisi Make a Pilgrimage to Nor Varagavank Monastery PDF Print E-mail

a1The Feast of the Holy Cross of Varague is one of the most special and beloved feasts. The Armenian Apostolic Church, in difference to the other Christian Churches, celebrates another purely national feast dedicated to the Holy Cross, which is famous as the Holy Cross of Varague. It is a movable feast.

This is the second year that the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi have made a pilgrimage to Nor Varagavank Monastery on this day. This year, the pilgrimage was organized on the initiative of the Sacristan of the Church, Rev. Father Manuk Zeynalyan, and with assistance from the Youth Department of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.1

Early in the morning, on October 1, 2017, with the blessing and good wishes of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, more than a hundred faithful made a pilgrimage to Nor Varagavank Monastery of the Primacy of Tavush Patriarchal Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church (the Republic of Armenia). They were accompanied by Rev. Father Manuk Zeynalyan, Deacon Gevork Antonyan, the officials of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Valery Badalyan, Levon Chidilyan, Susana Khachaturyan, Eugenia Markosyan and coordinator Nina Seropova.

The Armenian pilgrims of Tbilisi together with hundreds of pilgrims from different cities and regions attended the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varague. The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Primate of the Diocese of Tavush.

During the Divine Liturgy, the celebrant Bishop, in his sermon, spoke on the message of the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varague, highlighting the reverence, love and respect of the faithful for the relic of the Lord’s Wooden Cross that brings salvation to everyone. Bishop Bagrat expressed his gratitude to worthy sons of the Armenian nation, “Ideal 2Systems” company owner Norayr Khachatryan, Rafik Manucharyan and others for their assistance and willingness to renovate the Nor Varagavank Monastery.

The Primate conveyed his blessings and greetings to the pilgrims from different dioceses, led by spiritual fathers, extending his kind words of gratitude to the Primate3 of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Father Manuk and the pilgrims from Tbilisi, who every year make pilgrimage to this 10th century church to renew their sacrament.

On the occasion of the feast, on behalf of the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi, miniature painter Meruzhan Shahumyan granted to the Church an Icon of Holy Mother of God.

Later, the relic of the Lord’s Wooden Cross was brought in, which had been brought from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The thing to note here is that the relic 4of the Lord’s Wooden Cross is placed in a reliquary, which was made in 1902, in Sangibar village of Iran.

During the Divine Liturgy the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi could approach the Cross and kiss it.

Following the Divine Liturgy, in the area near the Nor Varagavank Monastery, at the initiative of Bishop Bagrat and with the participation of the clergy from different dioceses the Andastan Service was performed wherein the four corners of the world were blessed.

The clergy with love blessed Matagh (Thanksgiving Animal Sacrifice) offered by the pilgrims.5

The godfather of the Surb Hovhannes Church in the city of Berd of the Shamshadin region, Galust Melkumyan organized for the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi a reception of lamb that had been sacrificed. And “Ideal Systems” company owner made donations to the “Saint Movses Khorenatsi” Preschool of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.

The Armenian faithful of Tbilisi returned to Tbilisi spiritually reborn late at night.

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