“When the day of Pentecost came, they [the disciples of Christ] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-4).
On that day, the Jewish feast of Pentecost, Peter delivered an inspiring sermon (Acts 2:14-40) and 3,000 men and women were baptized becoming the first “church” in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-42). The Apostles began to heal and to preach with a new confidence. The Holy Spirit empowered them to communicate the ‘good news’ of the Gospel in all languages to all peoples and nations.
Two of the Apostles, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, with this empowerment for their ministry, traveled from Jerusalem to the Armenian nation. It was there, in the first century, not long after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord, that Armenians heard first-hand about the Messiah, about the teachings and life of Jesus, and about how they might become some of the first Christians on earth. That through such faith they might glorify God and save their souls.
In 2016, the Armenian Orthodox Church will celebrate this important feast day on Sunday, May 15th.