Public Symposium on the Meaning of the New Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide Next Week

2015-05 GenocideIconThumbnailA one-day public symposium titled, From Victims to Victors: The New Armenian Saints of 1915 will take place at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC next Wednesday, May 6.

The event is being held in conjunction with the national observance of the Armenian Genocide centennial and the recent canonization of the martyrs of 1915. It is being co-sponsored by the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and the Zohrab Information Center.

Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian speakers will consider the meaning of new Genocide martyrs in the context of the wider Christian practice of the canonization and veneration of saints and martyrs, with special attention to their practical impact on the faith and lives of Armenian-Americans today.

The day’s program will begin with welcoming remarks by the Provost of Catholic University, Rev. Dr. Mark Morozowich; Rev. Dr. Paul McPartlan, Dean of School of Theology, and V. Rev. Dr. Daniel Findikyan of the Zohrab Information Center.

Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos is a Greek Orthodox priest and Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America.
Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos is a Greek Orthodox priest and Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America. He will be among the speakers at a public symposium on the newly-canonized martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Robin Darling Young (Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America) will open the day’s deliberations with a talk entitled, Armenian Chroniclers, Early Martyrs, and Communal Intercession, from Agat’angelos to Yeghishe.

Christopher Sheklian, an ordained deacon of the Armenian Church and doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Chicago, will reflect on the tension between the secular-national significance of the Genocide martyrs and their Christian-theological meaning. His talk is entitled, Witnessing, Sacrifice, and Suffering: Martyrdom and the Relationship Between Ethnic and Religious Identities.

Greek Orthodox priest, Rev. Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos (Assistant Professor of Liturgics and Sacramental Theology at Catholic University) will next speak on the topic, The Armenian Martyrs of 1915 and the Greek Martyrs of 1922: Pastoral and Practical Applications for Armenian and Greek Orthodox Christians in America Today.

The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion among all the speakers, moderated by Rev. Dr. Ronald Roberson of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The symposium is free and open to the public. It will take place in Caldwell Auditorium of the Catholic University of America (620 Michigan Ave. N.E., Washington, DC). The program will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. For information, contact the Zohrab Information Center at (212) 686-0710.

Martyrs in the 20th Century. Martyrs in the 1st Century.

2015 GanteghToday is the Feast of St. Voski and his Companions, a group of priests who were among the first Christians to be martyred on Armenian soil just decades after Christ. Followers of St. Thaddeus the Apostle, St. Voski and his priest-companions dared to bring the news of a new god—indeed, the only true God—to a people who were quite content to follow the pagan status quo.

Two thousand years later, 1.5 million native Armenian Christians would lay down their lives on their native land out of their deepest conviction that in that same True God, Jesus Christ, the end of this earthly life was merely the turning of the page of a divine and eternal book of life.

Today the Armenian Church in its native homeland and throughout the world pushes on, inspired by that same faith, to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to a world that so desperately looks for true peace, true meaning and true hope.

CLICK HERE to see the new and exciting missionary work inspired by St. Voski and His Companions.

ZICVID. Prof. Maxwell Johnson Speaks on Martyrdom in the Early Churches and the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide

On Thursday, October 9, Prof. Maxwell Johnson of the University of Notre Dame spoke at the Zohrab Center about the phenomenon of Christian martyrdom in the early church in light of the anticipated canonization by the Armenian Church of the countless martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 who surrendered their lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

The Canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915. What is Christian Martyrdom Anyway?

JohnsonImage.001In April 2015, on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church will take the momentous step to officially recognize as saints of the church the countless souls who perished during the Genocide in witness of their Christian faith.

The Rev. Dr. Maxwell E. Johnson, Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) will present a lecture entitled, The Blood of the Martyrs: Seed of the Church Yesterday and Today on Thursday, October 9 at 7:00PM.


Surveying traditional interpretations of Christian martyrdom, Professor Johnson will address the relevance of the canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915 for the Armenian Church and people today.   

Maxwell E. Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Maxwell E. Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The illustrated lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY.

The Rev. Dr. Maxwell E. Johnson is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a leading scholar of early Christian liturgy and worship. He has written extensively on topics related to Baptism, Eucharist, the Liturgical Year, Mary, the Saints, and Ecumenism. He has lectured at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary on Armenian Baptismal Rites and Spirituality.

Professor Johnson’s most recent book, Praying and Believing in Early Christianity: The Interplay between Christian Worship and Doctrine, is concerned with how the worship of the church shapes and is shaped by doctrine. Copies will be available for purchase at the lecture. Guests will have the opportunity to greet Prof. Johnson during a wine and cheese reception that will follow his presentation.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at or (212) 686-0710.