International Orthodox Christian News


The 30th annual book fare of the Catholicosate of Cilicia was launched this Sunday in the Catholicosate’s headquarters in Antelias.

Following the Holy Mass in the Cathedral, the procession of Cilician Brotherhood members and Seminary students headed by His Holiness Aram I walked towards the Cilicia Museum’s surroundings, where the exhibition was set up a in huge tent put up for this purpose. Religious officials, intellectuals, students and book lovers, a large number of believers and journalists attended the opening. The Catholicosate’s Seminary and Sunday School students delivered a beautiful cultural program venerating Armenian culture.

The exhibition includes several publications from Lebanese Armenian and foreign publishing houses, as well as individual authors and publishing houses within the Catholicosate. In his opening remarks for the event, Lebanese Armenian poet, intellectual and Seminary professor Sarkis Giragossian spoke about the Catholicosate of Cilicia’s cultural mission of the past decades particularly in the field of supporting the publication and promotion of Armenian books.

In his address on this occasion, His Holiness spoke about the commitment Armenians should have towards their cultural values and particularly towards Armenian books. His Holiness stressed that the absence of Armenians from such cultural events is unacceptable and is a sign of their disengagement from their Armenian roots. The Pontiff praised the growing scope of the annual exhibition over time, adding that the preservation of Armenian culture in the Diaspora is an indivisible part of the Catholicosate of Cilicia’s mission. His Holiness remembered that Armenian book fare launched for the first time by the late His Holiness Karekin II of Cilicia, who enthusiastically supported the recurrence of the event year after year.

Referring to the spiritual and intellectual values of Armenians, His Holiness considered the Armenian book to be our spiritual intellectual bread. In a graphical comparison, he spoke about the long queues that used form in front of bakeries, pointing out that the queues in front of the “value” bakeries have started to recede. The number of individuals reading Armenian books and concerned with the state of the Armenian book has decreased.

The Pontiff commended all the organizations and individuals supporting the Armenian book. He pledged that the Holy See of Cilicia will continue its mission with the same commitment not only in Antelias but also in all the dioceses, preserving Armenian cultural and spiritual values and the heritage of our ancestors. The exhibition showcases spiritual, philosophical, literary, pedagogical books and books on the church, literary criticism, music and culture. The exhibition will remain open until December 21, 2008, from 9 AM in the morning till 7 PM in the evening.



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