Feast of the Catholicon of Holy Etchmiadzin

On June 18, 2017, on the Feast of the Catholicon of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Primate, assisted by Rev. Archpriest Yeghia Kervanciyan, Parish Priest, as well as deacons and acolytes, celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Cathedral of Montreal.

After the Liturgy, on the occasion of the Name Day, Primate blessed all those whose name is Krikor (Gregory), and inaugurated a memorial plaque in the church entrance dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Krikor and Rose Dikranian, followed by a lunch offered by the Parish Council of the Cathedral on the occasion of the Church Name Day.

The Feast of the Catholicon of Holy Etchmiadzin is the day when Armenians all over the world commemorate the building in 303 AD of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, where the Holy See of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church is located.

The building of the Cathedral came right after the conversion of the King of Armenia, Tiridates III to Christianity by St. Gregory the Illuminator, in 301 AD. After the conversion, the King proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the nation of Armenia thus making Armenia the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion.

In 303 AD, St. Gregory the Illuminator had a vision in which Christ was seen to descend from Heaven and strike the ground with a golden hammer, directing him to build a church on that site. Based on this tradition, the name of the church became Etchmiadzin which means literally The Only-Begotten Descended (Etch-mia-dzin).

Etchmiadzin is the spiritual and administrative center of the worldwide Armenian Church and is therefore given the title Mayr Ator or Mother See.

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