“OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR TODAY AND OUR TOMORROW” Said His Holiness Aram I on the Eve of the Feast of Presentation of Jesus to the Temple.
On Sunday 13 February 2011, a large number of people, mainly mothers with their young children, gathered in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral and its courtyard to celebrate the eve of the Feast of Presentation of Jesus to the Temple and Diarentarach, the ancient Armenian Feast of Fire, which dates back to pagan times.
During liturgy, His Holiness Aram I addressed the congregation, and said: “The Presentation of Jesus to the Temple is the feast of our children. We have declared 2011 as ‘The Year of the Child.” Children are the future of our Church and Nation. The future is imminent; it is tomorrow. Our children do not belong to us, they are God’s gifts and we are their custodians. We should, therefore, educate and nurture them. Parents should ensure that their children attend Armenian Schools because it is there that such nurture happens and moral and ethical values are imparted.”
After the message of Catholicos Aram I, while the choir of the seminary sang hymns of the day, the priests and deacons took babies on to the altar and walked with them around it three times.
The evening celebrations ended with the traditional Diarentarach bonfire on the courtyard of the compound. His Holiness Aram I lit the bonfire, which symbolizes light and warmth.