28 February 2011, Chennai, India – Very Rev.
Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of the Armenians in India and the
Manager of the Armenian College & Philanthropic Academy, the Church
Committee of the Holy Nazareth, Kolkata, India and Armenian teachers
along with a group of students of ACPA on February 20 went on a
pilgrimage to St Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Chennai (Madras)
which was established in the year 1712.
The Armenian Church is located on the Armenian street in Madras. The
pilgrims assembled at the church directly from the Chennai Airport where
Father Khoren conducted the Divine Liturgy.
Thereafter, a special Repose of Souls service was held at the ‘Shmavonian
Garden’ within the church precincts where the souls of Father Harutyun
Shmavonian, Shahamir Shahamirian rest among others.
An Armenian community developed in Madras in the 17th century. It became
the centre of cultural and spiritual life of Indian Armenians.
The first Armenian monthly magazine ‘Azdarar’ whose editor was Father
Harutyun Shmavonian was published during the years 1794-1796 in Madras.
Such work deserves to be worthy of recognition and the name of Father
Harutyun should be made immortal with carved gold letters and postered
in the Armenian culture and the history of Armenian press publication
In 1772 Father Movses Baghramian from Artsakh published, “Nor Tetrak,
vor kochi hordorak” in Shahamirian’s publishing house.
In the same printing house, in the following year, a draft Constitution
for Armenia, ‘Vorogayt Pharats’ was published by the famous ‘Madras
Group’ comprising of Hovsep Emin, Father Movses, Grigor Khogaganian,
Shahamir Shahamirian, his sons and others.
The Armenian Church in India will celebrate the 300th Anniversary of St
Mary’s Church in 2012 to show gratitude to the various achievements
brought about by the Armenian community of Madras.