#123, 2003-07-01 | #124, 2003-07-02 | #125, 2003-07-03


Upon the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, benefactors of the Armenian Church, Saro Khodaverdian and Haroutiun Agha-Sargisian were awarded the "Saint Nerses the Graceful" Medal of the Armenian Church.

On June 30, His Holiness Karekin II hosted a program and reception in honor of the benefactors and their families in the Reception Hall of the Pontifical Residence. The evening began with welcoming remarks by Very Rev. Fr. Arshak Khachatrian, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness was read by His Grace Bishop Paren Avetikian, after which, His Holiness decorated both men with their medals as their families looked on. The program included musical selections performed by the Yerevan Chamber Choir.

Italian-Armenian benefactor Mr. Saro Khodaverdian has held the responsible position of Parish Council Vice-Chairman of the Armenian Church of Forty Martyrs in Milan for numerous years. In addition to his manifold tasks benefiting the church, he has also made his contribution to the Mother See through the interior decoration and improvement of the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Yerevan. Mr. Khodaverdian is the benefactor for all of the chandeliers and interior lighting of the cathedral.

American-Armenian benefactor Haroutiun Agha-Sargisian, also a devout and dedicated son of the Armenian Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, actively participates in the life of the church in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, voluntarily undertaking various initiatives.

Receiving the Medal of St. Nerses, Mr. Khodaverdian thanked His Holiness for the honor, noting in particular, that to stand with the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Motherland, one must often visit both in order to greater appreciate, strengthen and support them. Mr. Agha-Sargisian also extended his kind words of gratitude to His Holiness, promising to continue his support and assistance to the Armenian Church.

At the conclusion of the program, His Holiness addressed his remarks to the people in attendance. "We deem philanthropy important, but of greater importance is the spirit with which philanthropic acts are realized. It is great consolation for us to see these two young Armenians, two young sons of the Armenian Church, bring their contribution with the goal of participating in the strengthening of our Holy Mother Church and the Motherland," noted His Holiness. A reception was held in honor of the medal recipients following the program.

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