Twenty-three young adults from across the Eastern Diocese (including Holy Martyrs ACYOA Senior, Christopher Artun) embarked on a 10-day tour of the Holy Land this month, as part of the Diocese’s annual Young Adult Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Traveling June 4-13, the group visited holy sites and locales out of biblical history, like Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and the Jordan River. The young pilgrims were also awakened to the vital role Armenians have played in the story of the Holy Land, embodied in the centuries-old Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The group was led by the Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, pastor of the St. Mary Church of Washington, DC, assisted by Arpi Nakashian from the Diocese. “This pilgrimage is designed to deepen a young adult’s Armenian Christian identity as they follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Arpi, who is herself a native of Jerusalem. “It’s an unforgettable experience to be immersed in the sacred history of our own people, who have lived in the Holy Land for centuries.” Having now returned as Mahdesis—literally “one who has viewed death,” the age-old Armenian term for a Holy Land pilgrim—the young adults are expected to share their experiences in their respective parishes across the Diocese. For favorite moments from the 2019 Diocesan Pilgrimage click here.