Tag Archive for: Fr. Vazken

Voices that Lead

Roots of Armodoxy: Voices that lead

Most people would not want to admit they have been hearing voices in their head. Not so with Fr. Grigor, the priest at one of the local parishes inside of Yerevan. He’s very open about hearing the voices now, but not when he first heard them. It scared him. He thought he should seek psychiatric help. It was a voice he heard when he was using one of the hand crosses during services in his church.

In Armenian Church tradition, a small (4 to 6 inch) ornate cross is held by the priest during services and is referred to as a hand cross. It is used to bless items, objects and especially sacraments, such as baptisms, weddings and of course the Holy Eucharist. The cross itself is attached to a short rod which is how the priest holds the cross.

This particular cross that Fr. Grigor held was in the church when he took over the pastorate. On the four points of the cross – two on the vertical member, top and bottom, and two on the horizontal, sometimes referred to as the arms of the cross – are four translucent stones. And in the center, where the vertical and horizontal members intersect, there is the fifth stone. He shared with us that every time he used this cross to offer a blessing, he would hear a voice saying that the cross belonged in one of the side altars and that he should place it there. Just as he had resigned himself to the fact of seeking some professional help, the small company of the archeologists were sent over the church to the inventory and study some of the ancient artifacts. The Matendaran in Yerevan houses the largest collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts is interested in artifacts and relics from antiquity.

The experts examined the cross and carefully removed the translucent stones to discover under the arms and the top and bottom stones, there were small relics from four different saints, along with notations. The holy relics of saints are venerated in the Armenian Church, as they are charged with the energy of the saints. But still, the voices persisted with Fr. Grigor until the team removed the center stone under which was the unexpected: a piece of Christ’s Cross!

In the center of this cross which had blessed and energized people, protected the poor, the sick and the lonely, and swabbed the merriment of families, the Cross of Jesus Christ lay flat, and untouched and undisturbed. Fr. Grigor admitted that the cross had been used during baptisms and were certainly exposed the elements, at the very least water. Yet, the wood was intact, along with the inscription left there by pious members of the church centuries ago.

The voices stopped. The experts authenticated the Cross and now its blessing had been discovered. Fr. Grigor placed it, as the voice had instructed him, in a place of honor, inside the side altar. Once a year, on the celebration of the Discovery of the Cross (in October) the Cross is removed from its place and processed through the faith people. The church is the Asdvadzadzin (=Holy Mother of God) but referred to as Zoravor (the might one) because of the awesome power which emanates from this simple church.

It should be noted that in the Armenian Church, the Cross is the symbol of Love. Unlike the heart made popular in the West, for the Armenian Church, Love is expressed by sacrifice. The Cross represents that sacrifice. And so, when a blessing is given by the cross, an exchange of love takes place, with Jesus Christ as the author and incarnation of Love.

Today we pray, Holy Mother of God, you are most powerful, zoravor, because you have given the world Love through Jesus Christ. May we be protected under the shadow of His Holy and Precious Cross in peace, delivered from enemies visible and invisible. May we always glorify the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Next Step #733: Beginning the 15th season of the Next Step, Fr. Vazken shares some of the most precious blessings of the ministry, spanning the last five decades. From Genocide experiences, to the primer offered by St. Nersess Shnorhali, unlock the beauty of the “blessings” in this up-close and personal edition of the Next Step, presenting the new Epostle.net ministry.
Sirach 43
Einstein on Religiousness
The End is just the challenge (NS69)
Highlights of Fr. Vazken’s Ministry
Paul McCartney’s “Junk”
Cover: Epostle.net, 2022, Anush Movsesian Avejic
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org and Epostle.net
Listen via Stitcher Radio on demand!
Listen on Apple Podcasts

The Icon Answers: Listen


Next Step #615 – March 19, 2020 Praying during a Pandemic – As life changes and coronavirus dictates the way we live, does God answer our prayers? A candid conversation about what are we praying for. Are we telling God something he doesn’t know? Fear and how panic drives us to the absurd. A new day and age as we stream church services. The world-wide prayer day and and participation all around. Corona-conspiracy is the latest in a line-up from Kennedy to Moon Landing, to 911.
Ara Dabanjian By the River
HH Karekin II – World Day of Prayer (3/18/20) at St. Gayane
WD168 for this Week
Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Message
Element Band
Armodoxy Channel on Youtube
Cover: The Icon Answers, Fr. Vazken 2020
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for http://InHisShoes.org

Ecumenism: The Global Search for Christ

Next Step #111 – July 22, 2010

The Global Ecumenical Movement: The Most Inclusive Opportunity for Christians… An interview with Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Officer of Ecumenical Relations for the See of Cilicia, Moderator of the Joint Committee between Christian World Communions and the World Council of Churches, in an interview about Ecumenism. “When people look for spirituality, they are looking for Christ,” says His Grace. Also – answers to the questions: Was Jesus about movement or institution? Vision or program? Fellowship or management? A short tribute to the Archbishop Smpat Lapajian (1927-2010) – pioneering sermons on “new media.” Much much more in this very special, “Last of the Binary” series!
Song: “Aghoonig” by Element Band – http://www.elementband.com/
Ani’s Bubbles: The Wise Woman – http://scrubsmag.com/you-know-youre-a-student-nurse-when…/
Find more about Bishop Alemezian, the See of Cilicia and Ecumenism at: http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/v10/doc/events.htm
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

His Grace Bishop Nareg Alemezian and Fr. Vazken Movsesian

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Theophany – Juxtaposing Christ and Darfur

Next Step #83 – January 6, 2010

Theophany as a way of life today and not only in history. How can you be excited about “Christ being born” while Children are dying in Darfur? Fr. Vazken takes the listener through a thought-process and arrives at the Nativity/Revelation of God as a participant in a Living Message. Start of the New Year with a candid revelation of disappointments within the institution of church as well.
Upcoming news about the Martin Luther King Retreat
Song of the Day: Glory to God in the Highest by Narek Bell Choir of St. Mary & Junior Choir of Sts. Sahag/Mesrob;
Ani’s Bubbles: A Christmas Prayer;
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for Epostle.net

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New Years Eve – Decade End

Next Step #82 – December 31, 2009

The New Year’s Eve Edition. Use this sound track as a “Dick Clark replacement” as we reflect on the year and the aught decade. Remember the Y2K scare? Living in post-9/11 society and the changes we’ve endured. What about life before podcasts? The Advent passage Luke 19 unfolds into a lesson on the uses of money and the problem of wealth. Why do the rich get richer and the poor poorer? Didn’t you think Jesus wrote the story of Robin Hood? Try a look at values. A wish for the New Year – to take the risks and move the “Epostle” dream forward. Bonus: Fr. Vazken reveals Pasadena’s deal with God!
The staff says “Merry Christmas” – www.epostle.net
Song: “Nor Yerk” by Mariam Matossian (www.mariammatossian.com)
Ani’s Bubbles: Pumpkins, Carrots and Coffee
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

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