Bestowing of Medals at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin










On September 9, a solemn Medals ceremony was held in the Events Auditorium of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

For devotion and patriotic service, as well as achievements in the fields of science and health, Dr. Vilen Hakobian, Supreme Spiritual Council Member, and Academician-Secretary of the Department of the Academy of Natural Sciences; was awarded the Order of St. Nerses the Graceful of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church; and Dr. Ara Babloian, Chairman of the Health, Social and Environmental Standing Affairs Committee of the Republic of Armenia National Assembly; and Professor Hayrapet Galstian, Doctor of Medical Sciences and Director and Chief Oncologist of the V. Fanarjian National Oncology Center of the RA Ministry of Health; were respectively granted the Order of Saint Sahak – Saint Mesrop.

The event was attended by Minister Armen Muradian, RA Ministry of Health; associates, representatives of the healthcare field, and prominent public figures.

The ceremony was opened with the Lord’s Prayer, followed by opening remarks from Rev. Fr. Archimandrite Yeremia Abgarian. Mr. Vladimir Barkhudarian, RA Presidium member of the National Academy of Sciences; Mr. Artashes Geghamian, NA Deputy; and Mr. Spartak Ghazarian, Director of the Arabkir Children’s Foundation; each spoke on the life and worthy deeds of the honorable Dr. Hakobian.

Under the singing of hymns the Pontifical Encyclical was brought in. His Grace Bishop Gevorg Saroyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary and Rector of All Religious Institutions of the Mother See, read the Pontifical Encyclical addressed to Mr. Vilen Hakobian, in which it stated in part: “…You live your God-gifted life with a filial love towards our country, always seeking to offer Your talents to our faithful people. For many years you have administrated to the M. Heratsi Yerevan State Medical University and wrote numerous scientific studies and works, offering a worthy contribution for the benefit of development of healthcare in our country.

Today we have an opportunity to reflect on, with particular satisfaction, your sincere filial love and devotion towards our Apostolic Holy Church. For years, as a member of the Supreme Council, you have contributed zealous efforts for the better productivity of the mission of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and with the same boundless energy offer your rich experience to the operations of the Izmirlian Hospital of the Mother See, to serve to our nation’s children. It’s a joy for us to constantly be a witness to your love towards Etchmiadzin, which you demonstrate with your church-loving involvement and commitment to God.

With a delighted heart, during the long years of our acquaintance, we have had repeated occasion to see your kind and sincere spirit of unconditional devotion and dedicated commitment towards our Apostolic Holy Church and to the Catholicos of All Armenians”.

His Grace Bishop Artak Tigranian, Dean of the Monasteries of Mother See, presented the Pontifical Encyclical addressed to Dr. Hayrapet Galstian which state: “It brings us great satisfaction to reflect on your worthy pious achievements, that with the Blessing of the Lord, are decorated with generous and kind awards.

Respected Dr. Galstian, you as an experienced doctor bring caring advances to the development of healthcare in Armenia. Especially noteworthy are your contributions to the activities of the National Oncology Center. For more than half a century of commitment serving in the center, and then assuming the position of Director, you offer your knowledge and experience with devoted spirit as a mission to those longing for recovery and health rehabilitation. Your scientific and educational activities are also praiseworthy. You have contributed to the progress in the consolidation of a new field of medicine with your hundreds of written works and valuable academic service”.

The Grand Sacristan of the Mother See, Bishop Hovnan Hakobian, read the Pontifical Encyclical granted to Mr. Ara Babloian, which states in part: “…For more than four decades with your calling as a noble and concerned children’s doctor, you serve with great devotion to the preservation of children’s health and apply your learned knowledge, rich experience and diligent labors to the pious cause of recovery. You have brought great benefits to the development of pediatrics in our country, to which the Arabkir Medical Center is one of the best-known medical facilities in Armenia. Your name is quite familiar to our people today, and is gratefully remembered by many, whose children regained their health by your caring and gifted hands. You have brought praiseworthy input to the development of the health field and also undertaken commitments of administrative positions, for many years heading the RA Ministry of Health, the Department of Pediatric Surgery of Yerevan State Medical University and carrying out legislative activities in the National Assembly. Your academic merit is also valuable which you continue with great devotion and zeal.

Respected Mr. Babloian, we reflect with contented heart on your commendable assistance to the Izmirlian Medical Center of the Mother See. As a member of the Board of Directors, since the founding day, you bring contribution to the establishment and effective operation of the facility”.

After reading the Pontifical Encyclical, His Holiness granted the prominent figures the St. Nerses the Graceful Medal and Saint Sahak – Saint Mesrop medals, as recognition of the great contributions in healthcare and society. On the occasion of the granting of awards the grateful medal recipients extended their gratitude, expressing appreciation for the high praise and award, and assuring that they would continue offering their talents for the benefit of the people’s welfare.

The young musicians of the New Names Program of Armenia, performed a musical repertoire. The ceremony concluded with the Blessings and remarks of the Catholicos of All Armenians. “Our spirit is filled with joy at this moment, that we have an opportunity to honor such devoted sons with the high appreciation of our Church, and express our gratitude for the services rendered to the nation, homeland and to our people. All of you know their history of achievements. All the talents they received from our Heavenly Lord they have used throughout their lives with zeal and love for the nation’s prosperity, homeland’s success and country’s advancement of life”, noted Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. His Holiness emphasized that the honored recipients have supported the mission of the Church in their professional capacities, when after independence, they committed to render service to the nation in the healthcare field, and have been a support and provided assistance to the Armenian Pontiff, so that the Izmirlian Medical Center grows, strengthens and gains status with its work in the healthcare field.

Once again bringing blessings to his devoted sons, the Catholicos of All Armenians expressed his wish that they continue with the same dedication to bring their service to the nation, and glorify the good name of the country with their professional abilities and merits.