Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – October 2016
On 27 September, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; granted the Order of St. Gregory the Illuminator of the Armenian Apostolic Church to Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Janet Mardigian of the USA. The ceremony was held in the Chancellery of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The medal was granted in appreciation for the Mardigian’s long time contributions to the life of the Armenian Church and her faithful.
Prior to the Award ceremony, the official opening of the building and unveiling of a memorial plaque was held at the Yeremian Monastic building on the grounds of the Mother See. The members of the Mardigian family, dignitaries, friends and guests toured the newly remodeled and reconstructed building that was renovated through the philanthropy of Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Janet Mardigian.
The award ceremony was opened with the Lord’s Prayer, following which Rev. Fr. Paruyr Avetisyan, Director of the Intra-Church Relations Department of the Catholicosate of All Armenians offered welcoming remarks.
The ceremony was attended by the members of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, led by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate and FAR Chairman; and Mr. Garnik Nanagoulyan, FAR Executive Director.
Archbishop Khajag spoke, remarking on the exemplary character of the philanthropists. His Eminence noted that Mr. and Mrs. Mardigian, remaining faithful to the path taken on by their parents, continued to support their cherished mission to the Armenian Church; providing sincere assistance to the Homeland and people through implementation of various programs; and also supporting the activities and programs of FAR.
Under the singing of the hymn “Etchmiadzin I Hore”, the Pontifical Encyclical was brought in, and read by His Grace Bishop Moushegh Babayan, Director of the Administrative Department of Mother See.
The Pontifical Encyclical states in part: “The philanthropic Mardigian family, deserving of praise, have greatly contributed to our national and ecclesiastical life, which over generations, serves the welfare of our nation and the vibrancy of our Apostolic Holy Church through their sincere devotion and honest commitment.
We are glad we had the opportunity to know your parents and make known their church-loving and patriotic spirit, and their pious deeds, which through prayers and gratitude will be constantly remembered in the souls of the Armenians. Today I am pleased to confirm that following the radiant example of your parents, you live and work with loyalty and dedication to serve our country, our people and our Holy Church.
We greatly appreciate your long-term devout undertakings. You have implemented numerous charitable programs in our country and assisted needy Armenians living on the borders of Armenia.
With that same zealous spirit, you also expressed your filial love and devotion to Holy Etchmiadzin – the cherished spiritual center of all Armenians. It brings us great comfort that you also sponsored the renovation of the Yeremian monastic building of Holy Etchmiadzin, giving new life to the historic structure. Through honest commitments of faithful children like you, the Mother See is brightened”.
Following the reading of the Pontifical Encyclical, His Holiness presented it to the Mrs Mardigian and bestowed Mr. Mardigian with the medal of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church.
Mr. Edward Mardigian offered remarks of gratitude. Expressing joy on the occasion of receiving the highest award of the Armenian Church, he assured that they will continue to offer their assistance to the homeland and support the mission of the Armenian Church.
The ceremony was concluded with the blessings and remarks of the Catholicos of All Armenians. His Holiness praised the convening of the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of FAR in Armenia, reffering to FAR’s pro-national and patriotic activities.
His Holiness recalled the humanitarian support given by FAR to Armenia, after the devastating earthquake in 1988, as well as the hundreds of projects implemented in the health, education and social assistance sectors during the early years of Armenian independence, for the welfare of the people of Armenia, Artsakh and Javahk.
Highlighting the mission of such Diocesan partner organization such as FAR, His Holiness conveyed his blessings and appreciation to Archbishop Khajag and the Members of the Board of Directors of FAR, for their dedication and commitment.
Speaking on the Mardigian family, His Holiness noted with satisfaction that he personally knows them and is familiar with their nation-building and church-devoted activity. His Holiness offered praise and thanks to Almighty God, that the Armenian nation has such children, who invest their sincere resources to build the national and ecclesiastical life. His Holiness urged the Armenians to continue their blessed mission in the national life.
Catholicos Karekin II expressed his personal appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Janet Mardigian and all the Armenian philanthropists, who have shared their means and continue to share it for the creation and strengthening of the national life.
At the conclusion, His Holiness blessed the attendees with the “Protector” prayer.