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Armenians of Batumi visited the sanctuaries of their historical Homeland PDF Print E-mail

A1On October 9, 2018, a group of 18 faithful of Saint Savior (Surb Khach) church in Batumi (Armenian Diocese in Georgia), led by Rev. Father Ararat Gumbalyan, Pastor of Armenians in Adjara, Guria, Imereti and the Saint Savior (Surb Khach) church received the fatherly blessings of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan and made a pilgrimage to the historical sanctuaries of Western Armenia. DSC 0077
Armenians of Batumi started their pilgrimage from Akhaltsikhe and afterwards they left for Kars. They visited Arakelots (Apostles’) church in Kars, which was built in 928-953, during the reign of Armenian King Abas Bagratuni, with sense of pain they saw the Armenian house of God was turned into a mosque, where an Armenian Christian people must enter in accordance with the rules of the Islamic religion.
DSC 0093The faithful were proud of the appearance of the strong and impregnable fortress, which, however, is a heartbreaking witness of the ruins of Armenian great poet Yeghishe Charents's paternal house next to the two-storey houses built with black stones and inhabited by foreign people who speaks in other language. Armenians of Batumi visited Sarighamish, watched with unforgettable pride the historical capital of Armenian people and ruins of Ani.  
The pilgrimage was both impressive and emotional, the pride of Homeland’s beauty and pain of loss and regret were combined. The pilgrim also visited DSC 0179Erzurum, which was inhabited with many Armenians and the city of Mush, in Taron Province of Greater Armenia. They attended the Saint Marine church which is semi-dilapidated, as well as Armenian cemetery, where Gevorg Chaush’s remains are, the rise to Sulukh Bridge where Gevorg Chaush was killed in an unequal battle.
The next sanctuary was Lake Van, Akhtamar Island, Saint Cross (Surb Khach) church, where, unfortunately, with the permission of the government, DSC 0241sometimes the Divine Liturgy and wonderful melody of hymns and psalms are heard in the language of the nation which was the first in the world who adopted Christianity as a state religion.
The pilgrims reached the Varaga Monastery and the sacred spiritual song sounded in the ancient Armenian Church. With the pain in their hearts and tears in their eyes, the pilgrims watched the Fortress of Van and the ancient Fortress of Bayazet which is located in the high rocks. The pain soared away when they saw and enjoyed the beauty of Berkri waterfall and the impregnable Door of Mher.
Everywhere, the pilgrimage of Armenians of Batumi harmonized with Lord’s Prayer and the Protector Prayer of the spiritual father. With the pain of loss of the heroic martyrs, regret for lost Homeland and with decision to return here one day, on October 12 Armenians of Batumi left unforgettable sanctuaries of historical Homeland.

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