Special Ceremony in Memory of Maria Jacobsen
GLENDALE — The 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be commemorated in Solvang, California on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 in the courtyard of Bethania Lutheran Church, 603 Atterdag Road at 11:00 A.M. following the morning church service that begins at 9:30 A.M. The event is jointly organized by the Bethania Lutheran Church and Friends of Danish humanitarian/missionary Maria Jacobsen whose entire life was dedicated to serving Armenian orphaned children both in the Ottoman Empire and Lebanon. On Sunday, October 23, 2016, Jacobsen’s bust was unveiled in the courtyard of the Church.
The Memorial Service will be conducted by Armenian clergymen. Remarks will be delivered on behalf of the Organizing Committee and a musical program will be presented by Maral Parseghian, solo and Anzhela Amirian, violin. A special memorial reception will follow the ceremony.
Maria Jacobsen (1882-1960) was a Danish missionary who at a very young age went to Kharpert in 1907 and immediately started to help save Armenian orphans from Ottoman Turkish atrocities working with Near East Relief and was an eye-witness to the deportations and massacres which she published in her “Diaries of a Danish Missionary: Harput 1907-1919”. This daring and selfless Danish missionary had many encounters with the Turkish soldiers who attempted to recapture the Armenian orphans and kill them. Eventually she took hundreds of orphans to Lebanon, where The Near East Relief American benevolent organization Lebanon, where Maria became the “mama” for 4000 orphans until her death in 1960. Maria spoke fluent Armenian and read the Bible in Armenian to her orphans every night. She is buried, at her request, at the entrance of her beloved Birds Nest Orphanage.
The Armenian community is cordially invited to participate in this Memorial Service.