YERKIR Online - October 04, 2004
150 churches returned to St. Echmiatsin
150 churches-- some completely restored -- have been returned to the Holy See of St. Echmiatsin, Gagik Giurjian, deputy minister of culture and youth
affairs told Armenpress.
What is not reported above is how many of those churches in Armenia have been virtually destroyed in order to "restore" them into a state where they can be returned to use as active churches. Unfortunately the Armenian Church has no concept of allowing an ancient church building simply to remain as a ruined historic monument. And such is the overweaning position of the Church in Armenian life today that nobody dares speak out against its destructive activities against Armenian's architectural heritage.
This is of importance considering that this same Armenian Church periodically campaigns to have the Ani cathedral returned to its "ownership". Thankfully, that is an event unlikely to ever happen.
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address: Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact: Rev. Fr. Ktrij Devejian
Tel: (374 1) 517 163
Fax: (374 1) 517 301
October 14, 2004
Re-Consecration of Historic Church of Karmravor
On September 12, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the
faithful of the Diocese of Aragatsotn gathered in the city of Ashtarak
in central Armenia, to participate in a joyous and memorable event.
Through the generosity of Armenian benefactors from the United States,
Mr. and Mrs. Ohannes Meguerian of Pennsylvania, the historic Church
of Surb Astvatsatsin (Saint Mary Mother of God) was re-consecrated.
One of the masterpieces of early VII century Armenian architecture,
the church (commonly known as "Karmravor") had been in dire need
of renovation for most of the twentieth century due to neglect and
Prior to the celebration of Divine Liturgy, the celebrant, His Grace
Bishop Paren Avedikian, Director of Administrative-Organizational
Affairs of the Mother See, offered the consecration service in
the presence of the benefactor, members of his family and hundreds
of faithful. Assisting Bishop Paren was Rev. Fr. Torgom Tonikian,
the Representative of the Catholicos of All Armenians for the Diocese
Following the consecration service, Bishop Paren celebrated Divine
Liturgy and afterwards congratulated the faithful in attendance on
this memorable occasion. "This is an unforgettable day for all of us,
as one more house of prayer is being opened in Armenia. It is our
prayer to God that this magnificent church should always be a place
where God and man will meet, where we can share our pains, concerns
and joy with our Lord, where we can pray to our Savior and receive His
Divine Grace through Holy Communion," noted His Grace in his sermon.
Father Torgom read the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin
II granted to the benefactor on this occasion. The Pontiff of All
Armenians awarded Mr. Meguerian with the "St. Nerses the Graceful"
Medal of the Armenian Church in recognition for his dedication to
the Mother Church and the Republic of Armenia.
The Pontifical Encyclical states in part, "Your significant
contribution and spirit of participating in the great work of building
churches, which received new vitality in the new millennium, and as
a result of which you sponsored the renovation and restoration of the
Church of St. Mary Mother of God, is the testimony of your patriotism,
boundless filial love, devotion and loyalty to the Armenian Church and
the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.We confirm with joy that although
living far from Armenia, you have the Homeland in your heart and you
support your Motherland."
High-ranking clergymen, the Regional Governor of the Aragatsotn Region,
many guests from the United States and hundreds of faithful attended
the service and Divine Liturgy.
In celebration of this significant event in the life of the faithful
of Aragatsotn, His Holiness Karekin II presided during a reception
hosted at the Diocesan Headquarters Church of St. Mesrop Mashtots in
Oshakan later that same evening.