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Suggested reading and educational materials


The simple words, save us, Lord/ Getzo Der as we often say in Armenian during worship, loudly resonate as we look at this Icon of our Lord’s first miracle. And those words come to us through the Blessed Mother of God, St. Mary’s, icon that we see above the Holy Altar in our Churches.

They can make the biggest difference in life when we prayerfully ask for her intercession, intervention and help, just as she intervened at a wedding in Cana of Galilee,

saying do whatever he tells you. These two words are filled with power which brings God’s presence into our lives to transform, change and instantly redirect our footsteps.

-Fr. Garabed Kochakian


In the lower frame of this 10th century illumination, the angel tells Mary she will bear God’s Son, a future sacrifice.​ Above, Abraham hears an angel tell him not to sacrifice his son Isaac; his willingness was enough. Mary stands below the altar where Abraham would offer a ram in thanks for Isaac’s freedom; Mary herself was the altar where Jesus began to offer himself for humanity’s freedom. Having received sons as miraculous gifts, neither Abraham nor Mary withheld them from God. Whether God asks us to sacrifice our dearest gifts or not, may we dedicate them to his purpose.

- Dr. Roberta Ervine



I invite you to meditate on Mary, the mother of God. Mary had been set aside a lifetime before the moment Gabrielle first greeted her with  “Rejoice, Oh Virgin Mary”.  Mary ran back home startled, frightened, wondering how Gabrielle could know her. Immediately she stood and prayed. This illumination painted in 1378 AD by Grigor Datevatsi is titled The Annunciation with the Jug. Elements placed in the center of an illumination typically signify importance. What is the significance of the jug in this illumination and what rests above it? What in your heart identifies with how Mary may have felt in those moments after her first greeting? What would your prayers be?

- Rhonda Boyajian

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” 

Hebrews 12:1

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