Commemoration of the Pontiff St. James of Nisibis, hermit St. Maruge and Bishop St. Melitus

Sunday Messenger

Fourth Sunday of Advent December 13, 2015

Commemoration of the Pontiff St. James of Nisibis, hermit St. Maruge and Bishop St. Melitus

Pontiff St. James of Nisibis is one of the authoritative and beloved saints of the Universal Church. He has deserved the epithet “Thaumaturge” (Wonderworker) for the numerous miracles relating to his name. According to hagiographical sources St. James was from a Parthian dynasty and the nephew of St. Gregory the Illuminator. When the family members of Anak the Parthian were killed nurses secretly fled to Caesaria taking with them baby Suren and James where they were educated in Christian spirit. Soon baby James and his sister were taken to Persia and for a while lived in the royal palace. . However, James refused to live a safe and well-to-do life and became a hermit. He left for Nisibis where he met hermit St. Maruge, who was famous for leading a life befitting saints. Learning from the hermit Maruge that many people despite their conversion to true faith were skeptic and suspicious about the existence of Noah’s Ark. James decided to climb the mount Ararat in order to see the Ark and bring a piece of it. Despite his inflexible will-power he couldn’t reach the peak and after long sufferings he had a short nap. The angel visited him in his dream and put a piece of the Ark under his head. According to the tradition in the place where St. James had lain down appeared a cold stream having healing and miraculous qualities. In the future a church bearing the saint’s name was built nearby the stream. The piece of the Ark is up to date kept in the museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He was one of the clergymen participating in the Nicene Council in 325. After the death of the Bishop of Nisibis God appeared to Maruge and told him that St. James was the deserving candidate for the Bishop of Nisibis. St. James passed away in 350, after leading the flock for a long time.

Bishop St. Mielitus was born in Melitene, Armenia Minor. In 358 he was the Bishop of Sebastia. In 360 he ascended the throne of Antioch. He struggled against the Arians. In 381 he presided in the Second Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople but unfortunately passed away before the end of the Council.

  • Hebrews 1: 1-14 (page 196) New Testament
  • Luke 17: 1-10 (page 73) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:

  • ANNA PETROSOVA requested by Ashot and Aida Petrosyan and Family on the 40th day of Her eternal sleep.

PRAYERS REQUESTED: From the Book of James, we are taught that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Therefore, as you pray for your own family, we ask that you keep members of our Holy Trinity family in your prayers as well. Continue to pray specifically for those who are ill. Pray especially for the various ministries within our church and their leaders: our Church School, our faith-based programs, our youth. And mostly pray that Jesus Christ is a Living Presence in each and every person in our church community. You may also advise the church office if you would like to include anyone by name in this column so that we may, as a church family, pray for them.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: is sponsored today by Ashot and Aida Petrosyan and Family in loving memory of ANNA PETROSOVA. All are welcome.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: You are invited, long time parishioners, new members, and first time visitors, please join us after Badarak in our lovely hall for Christian fellowship, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and greet fellow parishioners and Der Hayr. The coffee hour begins when Der Hayr blesses the table. There are containers available to deposit your trash before leaving the hall. We appreciate your patience, cooperation, and support. Thank you.

REMINDER: According to the Diocesan Bylaws, membership dues are to be paid no later than December 31st each year in order to be a member in “good standing” and to be eligible to vote at the annual assembly. Any monies received after that date will be applied to the new year. For any questions regarding your status, please call the church office.

Save the Date: of Sunday December 20th for breakfast and a visit by Santa in the hall. Adults are $7.00; children (5-10) $3.00 and church school students are free. Reservations are a MUST by 12/13/15. Questions call Merle Santerian at 215-947-3777. Everyone is welcome!

ACYOA Juniors: Fundraiser to support activities-December 13th pre- order forms will be in the lobby with pick up on December 20th. You may also purchase a poinsettia on December 20th.
Thank you for your past and future support!

ACYOA Juniors: December food drive- Please support the ACYOA juniors food drive to collect non perishable food items for the local food bank. Simply bring your items to the church lobby and place them in the box marked ACYOA JR FOOD DRIVE on December 20th. Thank you for your support!

THE LEGACY PROJECT – On sale now is the “From Horror to Hope” book and DVD that were produced by the joint effort of all five Philadelphia Armenian Churches for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The book is a compilation of reflections about our survivors; and the DVD tells the story of how the Philadelphia came to be, including commentary by Richard G. Hovannisian, the world’s foremost scholar on Modern Armenian History. The book is now available at a cost $30; the DVD purchased with the book is $10; purchased alone, the cost is $15. These two items make an excellent Christmas gift and are a necessary addition to any library for the benefit of future generations. For further information, contact Meredith Hanamirian,

The youth committee: of St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Church is seeking to hire a part time youth director if you know of anybody who is interested please have them contact the youth committee at:

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

  • Sunday December 13th: ACYOA Poinsettia Sale and Food drive
  • Sunday December 20th: Breakfast with Santa, School Pageant & ACYOA Poinsettia Sale & pick up and food drive

NEW IN THE BOOKSTORE—Great gifts for kids!
The Pesky Bird by Marianne Markarian. Mariam loves to climb trees, but she is forbidden to do so now that she has come of age. It’s a temptation that is hard to resist, and she soon finds herself caught in a sticky situation. Children will laugh out loud at the clever way Mariam solves her problem. Set in a small Armenian village in the early 1900s, the book captures the countryside life of the Armenian people. The winner of the Best Juvenile Fiction Award at the 2003 Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, The Pesky Bird also includes a recipe for Armenian lavosh bread! Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.00 Mariam’s Easter Parade by Marianne Markarian. This is a children’s picture book that shares Armenian Easter traditions. It’s a light-hearted story of a young girl who might be too small to help with the Easter preparations, but she is clever enough to figure out a way to make her own special celebration! Learn how to dye Armenian Easter eggs and play the egg-fighting game. Using her grandmother’s life in “the old country” as inspiration, Markarian has crafted a story that displays with cultural accuracy how Armenians in the Ottoman Empire celebrated Easter. Hardcover, 26 pages, $16.00

COUNTRY STORE: The Country Store is open every Sunday after church services in the kitchen. All are welcome.

If you know of anyone who is a shut-in, or ill and would like a visit from Der Hayr, please call the office and give their name to Maggie our church secretary.

CHURCH ETIQUETTE: We wish to remind you, our faithful, to please maintain a quiet and contemplative manner as you approach the chancel for communion. We especially ask that you refrain from conversation while waiting your turn for communion as well as afterwards as you return to your pew. Thank you.

THE KISS OF PEACE: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greetings says, Kristos ee mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.

Anyone who wishes to request any Requiem Services MUST inform the office by 1:30pm Wednesday the week before. If you also want to sponsor the Fellowship Hour you MUST call Merle Santerian at 215-947-3777.

Would you like to:

  • receive this Bulletin on Friday via email?
  • request a Hokehankist, house blessing or hall rental information?
  • find in-depth information on our faith, our parish and our activities?
  • sign up for an event online?
  • If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at

WE ASK THAT EVERYONE KINDLY TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES and all other such electronic devices prior to entering the sanctuary out of respect for the sanctity of our services.