At the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, marked the Feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Commitment to the Pit on March 28.
From the outdoor altar—before a plaza eerily devoid of worshippers due to Armenia’s pandemic emergency—His Holiness blessed our homeland and faithful worldwide with the ancient Relic of St. Gregory: fragments of the saint’s bones in an arm-shaped container. The ancient relic, cherished for centuries in the Armenian Church, was brought out especially for the blessing.
“The behavior of St. Gregory the Illuminator testifies to the power of his faith and hope in the Lord,” the Catholicos said. “Throughout his sufferings, he drew strength from his trust in God, echoing the psalmist: ‘God is my power and glory; God is my helper; God is my hope’ (Psalm 61:8).”
“His example is a message to us in our own day, as our world faces the ordeal of a pandemic. ‘Trust in God,’ our patron saint teaches; ‘accept His power; and make faith the path of your life.’”
He concluded with prayerful blessings for the Armenian republic, for Armenian Church faithful throughout the diaspora, and for the world.
“We kneel in prayer before the holy relic of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and convey our pontifical blessings to you. Be strong with faith, love, and hope. Stay patient in these days of trial. Care for one another, and together let us overcome this challenging time for our country and our people.”