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(SAN DIEGO) – The Knights of Vartan, Gomidas Tahlij #43 of San Diego has donated a commissioned painting of St. Vartan and Ghevont Yeretz for the side altar of St. Sarkis Armenian Church, San Diego.

The painting by Armenian artist Tigran Hovumyan was dedicated and blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, and parish priest Very Rev. Father Pakrad Dz. V Berjekian, on Sunday, February 5, 2023, as part of St. Sarkis’ First Anniversary Celebration.

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If Goghtan’s bards no longer crown

Armenia’s heroes with their lays,

Let deathless souls from Heaven come down,

Our valiant ones to praise!

Ye shining angel hosts, descend:

On Ararat’s white summit pause;

Let God Himself the heavens rend,

To come and judge our cause.

Fly, clouds, from Shavarshan away,

Pour not on it your gentle rain:–

’Tis drenched with streams of blood to-day

Shed by our brave ones slain.

Henceforth the rose and asphodel

No more shall on our plains appear;

But in the land where Vartan fell

Shall Faith her blossoms rear.

Fit monument to Vardan’s name,

Mount Ararat soars to the sky.

And Cross-crowned convents tell his fame,

And Churches vast and high

Armenian Legends and Poems,

Thy record too shall ever stand,

O Yeghishe, for where they fell,

Thou forthwith camest, pen in hand,

Their faith and death to tell

Bright sun, pierce with thy rays the gloom,

Where Khaghtik’s crags thy light repel

There lies our brave Hmayak’s tomb,

There, where he martyred fell

And, moon, they sleepless vigil keep

O’er our Armenian martyrs’ bones;

With the soft dews of Maytime steep

Their nameless funeral stones

Armenian’s Stork, our summer guest,

And all ye hawks and eagles, come,

Watch o’er this land—’tis our bequest—

We leave to you our home

About the ashes hover still,

Your nests among the ruins make;

And, swallows, come and go until

Spring for Armenia break!

Fragment from Battle of Avarayr by Grigor Khanjyan