Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 July

770th anniversary of consecration of St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church to be celebrated

STEPANAKERT, APRIL 2, ARMENPRESS: The 770th anniversary of the consecration of St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church of Gandzasar will be celebrated on July 22; on that occasion 2010 has been declared a Year of Gandzasar. With the mutual agreement of NKR President Bako Sahakyan and Primate of Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop T. Pargev Martirosyan, a decision has been adopted to celebrate this event which is of great significance in the country’s spiritual-cultural life on church-state joint high level.

On the decree of NKR Deputy Prime Minister Ara Harutyunyan and with the blessing of His Holiness T. Pargev a governmental and diocesan joint commission has been set up for organizing the festive events, chaired by NKR Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Spartak Tevosyan.

The commission which is comprised of clergymen, ministers of the NKR government, state high-ranked officials, lecturers and representatives of the mass media, has summoned its first session on March 30, chaired by Archbishop T. Pargev. Proposals on the upcoming events have been discussed; the main program on the festive events has been worked out.

His Holiness T. Pargev told Armenpress that the main event is intended on the Day of Vardavar, on July 11, 2010. That day a festive liturgy will be performed by His Holiness T. Pargev, afterward a sacrifice will be delivered to people. The involvement of the NKR defense army is intended in the celebrations as well. Booklets, films, clips will be prepared, as well as a medal will be issued and an internet webpage will be designed.

Pilgrimages, an exhibition of photos and paintings will be organized, as well as a festival of the religious song will be held. A contest of compositions will be organized in schools. And in September a scientific conference is intended to organize dedicated to the 770th anniversary of St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church of Gandzasar.

His Holiness T. Pargev noted that also a request will be addressed to Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II for bringing the relic of Hovhannes Mkrtich to Artsakh from the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin on the celebration day.

St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church of Gandzasar has been built in 1216-1238 by Lord Hasan Jalal Dola from Nerkin Khachen province. The church has opened on July 22, 1240 on the day of Vardavar.

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