7 September 2017
From August 9 to 14, the Armenian Church Youth European Conference took place in Romania with the participation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). The event was held in Bucharest and in Bukovina, one of the country’s most beautiful areas, in the city center of Suceava, the former capital of Moldova (1388-1565 AD).
The conference was organized and coordinated by the bishop of the Armenians in Romania – bishop Datev Hagopian, with the blessing of Karekin II, supreme patriarch and catholicos of all Armenians. The seminar involved around 100 participants from 33 Armenian dioceses. The delegation of Bulgaria was headed by His Reverence Archimandrite Isahak Poghosyan, head of the Armenian diocese in the country. Its members included representatives of AGBU YP-Sofia and AGBU YP-Plovdiv, among whom were members of the board of AGBU YP-Plovdiv: Nashan Derkalestanian and Verzhin Hugasyan, Hary Chalgadzhiyan of AGBU YP-Sofia, Inesa Gevorgyan of AGBU YP-Plovdiv and Minas Movsesyan of Burgas.
The main focus of the conference was “The church and the family.” During the discussions, the representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church encourage young Armenians to love and have faith in the Lord and to honor the three main pillars in shaping their lives, namely the family, the church and the school.
Participant had the opportunity to network and meet with the spiritual leaders of the Armenian dioceses. They had the chance to explore further aspects of the Armenian culture, religion, history, language and traditions. Some volunteers also took part in the preparation of the traditional soup “Aganch abur” and learn other traditional Armenian recipes.
In addition to lectures and discussions, the programme also included visits to various historical and cultural sites, such as the Armenian Church in Bucharest, the famous “Foreign painted monasteries” in Bukovina, the Armenian monasteries “Hadzhigadar” and “Zamka “and the Armenian churches “Surp Simon” and “Surp Hach” in the town of Suceava.
Particularly fascinating to everybody was the monastery “Hadzhigadar” also known as “Monastery of desire.” It was built in 1512 by Astvadzadur Donavadzhiyan. Visitors wrote down their wishes on a piece of paper and place them inside a special box in the monastery. On the Feast of the Assumption and Transfiguration, on August 13, thousands of people were crawling up the hill to the monastery, hoping to make their wishes come true.
Read the original article by Verzhin Hugasyan – AGBU YP Plovdiv Board Member