Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – September 2016
On September 08, at the Holy Savior Church of Shushi, Nagorno-Kharabakh; His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; offered a Blessing of the Republic Prayer for the peace and prosperity of Artsakh.
The service were attended by Mr. Bako Sahakyan, President of the Nagorno-Kharabakh Republic, Mr. Ashot Ghulyan, Chairman of the Nagorno-Kharabakh National Assembly, government officials, military officers, and citizens of Shushi.
Under the ringing of the church bells, a clegy procession led His Holiness Karekin II and the President of Nagorno-Kharabakh to the church, where people joyfully greeted the Armenian Pontiff.
At the conclusion of the Blessing of the Republic Prayer, the Catholicos of All Armenians extended His Blessings and message to those presents: “We are gratified and give thanks to God, that We along with the Spiritual Council members have the opportunity to be in the blessed land of Artsakh and offer a Pontifical Prayer in the Holy Saviour Church of Shushi; which is the symbol of our struggle for liberation. We ask that God keep the borders of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia in peace and tranquility, and through His love and care, protect the heroic people of Artsakh.
During these days, Our people have been celebrating the 25th anniversary of Artsakh’s independence: the glorious jubilee of the most significant event in our modern history.
We once again value our victories and achievements, as well as recall our all heroes with reverence, who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Artsakh and our homeland security. The previous two and a half decades were years of strengthening and gradual reinforcement of the Nagorno-Kharabakh Independence.
However, the latest incidents which occurred in April gave witness that we still have much work to do in strengthening Artsakh statehood and the security of our homeland boundaries.
Under conditions of continuous harassment by the enemy, we must keep strengthening our army, and make Artsakh powerful and prospererous.
The people of Artsakh, despite all difficulties, continue to heroically endure to build a prosperous future for their Homeland.
On this holy land of Artaskh the faith and patriotism of the Armenians has never weakened.
During our enduring history, numerous times enemies faced the staunch will of the people of Artsakh, and withdraw due to their courage. People who live here have never stood for, and will not tolerate, injustice and violence. Our Holy Apostolic Church with its dioceses and church organizations throughout the world stand with you, dear beloved people of Artsakh, and support every effort which is made towards the recognition of the independence of the Nagorno Kharabakh Republic and a prosperous life in Artsakh.
During the preceding 25 years Artsakh has become the spirit of our people’s unity and the symbol of our victory and national awakening.
All efforts and vigor of all Armenians have been gathered around Artsakh and the trust of victories and vision has been confirmed. Artsakh is in the soul of all Armenians, who are the defender and guarantor of its independence.
There is no doubt, that with God’s support, our people will find the optimum solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Kharabakh.
As according to the apostle “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4.
In return for our hardship and sufferings, as well our precious sacrifices, this sacred land will always flourish, and strengthen the social life and activities of the Armenian people.
Giving new breath to our lives, new Armenian families will be blessed in our monasteries, and Armenian children will be baptized in the sacred baptistery fonts of our churches, which is the spirit of our strong faith, vibrancy, creativity, and progress.”, stated His Holiness.
His Holiness extended His Ponttifical blessings to President Sahakyan, and the state officials, and asked for God’s support to grant new achievements in their patriotic activity.
His Holiness expressed His appreciation and extended blessings to the Armenian officers and soldiers of the army and prayed, that the Lord keep the Homeland defenders with strong heart and triumphant; and protect them under His Right Hand, keeping them away from dangers and suffering.
The Armenian Pontiff also extended His Blessings to His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese; and her clergy; asking for God’s grace in their devoted mission. His Holiness blessed the heroic people of Artsakh and urged them to continue to live in love towards God, the Church and the Homeland; to move ahead with unequivocal hope, and that with God’s assistance, they will emerge victorious from all temptations.
Once again praying to God for peace in the Homeland and border security, His Holiness asked Heavenly God to support the people of Artsakh. His Holiness beseeched Omnipotent God to bless Armenia and Artsakh, and support the people in their national desires and goals.
At the end of the service, the Catholicos of All Armenians donated an icon with the scene of the Crucifixion, to the Holy Savior Church of Shushi.