#119, 2003-06-25 | #120, 2003-06-26 | #121, 2003-06-27


In the early morning of June 23, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, departed for the city of Vanadzor, the headquarters of the Diocese of Gougark. He went to conduct the service of the Blessing of the Foundation for the new cathedral for the Diocese, being built in the center of the city. The groundbreaking service for the new cathedral occurred in May of 2002.

The cathedral church will be named after St. Gregory of Narek, in honor of the 1,000th Anniversary of the "Prayerbook of Lamentations". In November of 2002, His Holiness issued a Pontifical Encyclical, wherein he called upon all Armenians to celebrate the millennial anniversary of the prayerbook in the jubilee year of 2003.

The benefactors of the church, Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis Bedevian, of New Jersey, USA, were the honored guests of His Holiness, and accompanied him to Vanadzor to be present for the service.

During the service, His Holiness blessed and consecrated 16 foundation stones with Holy Chrism (Muron). Each stone, engraved with a cross, was blessed in the name of one of the Apostles of Christ, the four Evangelists and St. Gregory the Illuminator, which afterwards were embedded in designated corners of the foundation of the future church.

At the conclusion of the service, His Holiness and his entourage visited the "Tsitsernak" diocesan summer camp for children, where Bishop Sepouh presented the activities of the camp and gave a tour of the facilities.

Sarkis and Ruth Bedevian are benefactors of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and through their gracious financial and moral support, are also building the new youth center complex, a new medical center and a new soup kitchen for the residents of Vanadzor.

© AZG Daily & MV, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 ver. 1.4