BEIRUT (Aztag)–The 250th anniversary of the death of the Mekhitarist Order of Venice founder Abbot Mekhitar Sepatsatsi was marked last week in Lebanon’s Hovaness Boghossian hall.
The Master of Ceremonies Father Krikoris Serenian announced that the gathering marked the official kick off of celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Mekhitarist Order–the 2,000th birthday of Jesus Christ and the 1,700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion.
The life and work of Abbot Mekhitar Sepastatsi was presented by Father Vahan Ohanian–who diligently detailed the monastic–literary–theological and intellectual contribution of the Mekhitarist Order founder.
He stressed that while the Abbot has been dead for two and a half centuries–his teachings and writing still remain a unique and important part of the not only the Order but the entire Armenian nation.
Father Ohanian also detailed the Abbot’s commitment in the planning and the construction of the St. Lazzaro Monastery in Venice.
The Monastery became a center for spiritual–cultural and literary reawakening for the Armenian people–and educated and disciplined generations in the monastic order.
The Monastery also served as a center for Christian unity and inter-denominational communications and dialogue.
The Abbot contributions to literature and writing was also highlighted. Father Ohanian stressed that by 1,700 there were only 180 Armenian books in print in the world.
The Abbot’s publication of the Haigazaian Dictionary was revered as one of the most important works ever–and modern-day scholars who still use the dictionary were cited and named.
Following a cultural program–Bishop Vartan Demirdjian–representing His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–praised the Abbott for his contributions to Armenian religious reawakening and commended the Order for its contribution to the enhancement of the Armenian spiritual and cultural life.