Father Mesrob, Board of Trustees members and the 100th Anniversary committee of the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral working together in preparation for the historic...
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PREPARATIONS FOR THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF
SAINT ILLUMINATOR’S CATHEDRAL
The Pastor and the Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral proudly announce that on Sunday, May 17, 2015, in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Cathedral H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Afterwards, the Pontifical banquet in honor of His Holiness and the Cathedral’s 100th Anniversary celebration will be held at The New York Palace in Manhattan.
Under the direction of H. E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate, the 100th Anniversary Committee and the Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral are working tirelessly in preparation for this historic event.
Under the leadership of the Pastor of the Cathedral, 100th anniversary Committee members and volunteers are working tirelessly in preparation of the historic event.
Pictured above in alphabetical order: Ms. Neiri Amirian, Mr. Avedis Alashaian, Mrs. Rosemary Alashaian, Ms. Marina Dilakian, Mr. Gregory Dirasian, Mr. Yervant Kasparian, Ms. Alice Movsesian, Mrs. Azadouhi Vartanian, Mr. Joseph Vartanian, Mrs. Lalig Vartanian, Mr. Zaven Vartanian and Mr. Michael Yetemian
Saint Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral is celebrating nearly a 100 years of service and worship in the community and we do so as we have always done – with faith, hope and love in God and all of God’s children.
In the years following the genocide, St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral beckoned like a bright beacon of hope for a generation of survivors. After they landed on Ellis Island they quickly found their way to this modest church on a bustling street in the shadow of the “EL” where they searched for family members, village neighbors, and the anchor for a new life.
In 1914, St. Illuminator’s members began to collect funds to purchase the church and its furnishings from the Methodists; six years later it came into Armenian ownership. In April 1921, St. Illuminator’s, at 221 East 27th Street, was consecrated as a cathedral. It, and the building next door, were ours. A new “homeland” at last!
Reverend Father Mesrob Lakissian
We are proud to have Reverend Father Lakissian, Der Mesrob, as our spiritual leader at St. Illuminator’s. His commitment to God, church and family are reflected in the tireless work he performs for the parish. That said, the commitment shared by his family, and mainly our Yeretskin, is most evident at the Cathedral. In 2010 we celebrated Reverend Father Lakissian’s 5th anniversary of his ordination and service to St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. We pray for Der Mesrob’s continued leadership and guidance for many more years to come as our Cathedral’s pastor. Der Mesrob was ordained to the priesthood on November 20, 1995.
St. Gregory The Illuminator
Gregory is revered as the patron saint of the Armenian Church. He is recognized and memorialized in both eastern and western hierarchical churches. The Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Churches, and Oriental Orthodox Churches, have special days in their calendars for the veneration of St. Gregory, who is considered to be one of the Fathers of the early Christian church.
Gregory was condemned to the pit in 287 AD by King Trdat and the persecution of Christians began. After the martyrdom of a group of nuns who came to Armenia from Rome led by Hripsime and Gayane, Trdat was stricken with strange maladies. His sister, Khosrovidukht, had a dream that Gregory was the only person who could heal her brother. Miraculously, Gregory was still alive after many years in the pit, thanks to an angelic woman who lowered food and water into the pit. Gregory emerged from the pit. The king was healed and baptized, and he declared Christianity to be the official religion of Armenia.
Gregory was not the first to preach Christianity in Armenia; that distinction belongs to the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew who came to Armenia in the first century, and thus gave us the apostolic designation. Nevertheless, Gregory is revered in the Armenian Church and is considered by Armenians to be the father of their faith. Hundreds of churches have been built in his name.
“The ancient calendars of the still undivided Church celebrated him [Gregory] on the same day in both the East and the West as a tireless apostle of truth and holiness. The father in faith of the whole Armenian people, St. Gregory still intercedes from heaven today, so that all the children of your great nation may at last gather round the one table prepared by Christ, the divine Shepherd of the one flock.” Pope John Paul II, in his “Apostolic Letter for the 1,700th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People,” issued February 2, 2001.