On 1 December 2012, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrated with great solemnity the Feast of the Apostles St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. During a pre-feast service, with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the relics of the Apostles St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew which are kept in the museum Mother See, were brought to the Mother Cathedral.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Father Husik Smbatian, a member of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. In his sermon he spoke about the sacrament of the feast and noted the following: “Preaching by the Apostles is not only a history or a tradition but also, first and foremost, a live witness by the preaching of faith and love. The blessed Apostles have been the eye and ear witnesses of the sermons and miracles of Jesus Christ, up to the time of his martyrdom. Living through the sacrament of the Lord in their life and work, they became the foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church which is the best example of the fundamental pillars and the power and vitality of Christianity.
The Holy Apostles, through the examples of their lives, showed us that the true witness of Jesus Christ cannot be limited just to the adoption of abstract doctrine or just with the interpretation of belief and moral norms. With its nature and on its basis, the witness of a Christian is the live witness of the living Jesus, who loves us unconditionally and wishes to enter into a dialogue with us and accompany us on our earthly life.
Emphasizing the role and the beseeching of the Illuminators of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the life of each Armenian, at the end of his sermon, His Grace encouraged the faithful to remain faithful to the Armenian Apostolic Church, keep their Christian nature pure and build their lives on the great virtues of faith, love and honesty.
At the end of the Holy Liturgy the faithful Armenian pilgrims had an opportunity to pray and be blessed by the relics.