"Holy Etchmiadzin – the birthplace of our faith": Pan-Armenian pilgrimage-2023
With the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and under the leadership of the spiritual leader of the Armenian Church World Youth Organization (ACYOWorld), Archbishop Hovnan Terteryan, from July 5-10 of this year, the Pan-Armenian pilgrimage of the ACYOWorld under the name "Holy Etchmiadzin – the birthplace of our Faith" took place.
More than a hundred young people from Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora, as well as the Primates of the dioceses, clergy, and representatives of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, took part in the pilgrimage, which unites Armenian youth from different parts of the world. Because of the impossibility of free movement of people in connection with the blockade of Artsakh, the pilgrims-participants from Artsakh this year were selected from among the students studying in the educational institutions of Mother Armenia.
The days of pilgrimage began and ended with prayer. The first day of the Pan-Armenian pilgrimage started with a morning service, after which a two-day course "Digital Christian Youth Work" began. Group work was carried out on the topics "Planning a strategy in social networks" and "Social media campaign".
On July 7, in Holy Etchmiadzin, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II received the participants of the Pan-Armenian pilgrimage. The Armenian Patriarch conveyed his message to the youth. His Holiness presented the essential significance of Etchmiadzin for the Armenian Church: "Holy Etchmiadzin is the grace and gift of God, which supported the faith of the Armenian people and shaped their identity, appearance, and spiritual values." The Catholicos of All Armenians stressed that the Armenian people today continue to fight in the name of faith and the Motherland against various challenges, such as globalization, the destruction of spiritual and moral values, the blockade of Artsakh, as well as Azerbaijan's encroachment on the borders of the Motherland and the problems of the nation's security. His Holiness expressed satisfaction with the large-scale work done to organize the pilgrimage to the spiritual leader of the ACYOWorld, Archbishop Hovnan Terteryan, the spiritual inspector of the ACYOWorld, Archimandrite Tovma Khachatryan, and all the people who contributed to the organization of such an important pilgrimage.
July 9, the last day of the Pan-Armenian pilgrimage, began with the celebration of the Holy and Immortal Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Savior of Charentsavan, in which young pilgrims took part. Archbishop Hovnan Terteryan served the Liturgy under the chairmanship of the Primate of the Kotayk Diocese, Archbishop Arakel Karamyan. After the end of the Liturgy, the young pilgrims danced national dances in the churchyard. In the afternoon, participants in the “Digital Christian Youth Work” course were awarded certificates.
The Pan-Armenian pilgrimage of the ACYOWorld called "Holy Etchmiadzin - the birthplace of our faith", ended with a farewell bonfire.