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Right Rev. Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate PDF Print E-mail

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Bishop Vazgen Mirzakanyan (baptismal name Edward) was born on 21 July 1965 in the village of Artimed (formerly Atarbekyan) of the district of Echmiadzin.
He studied in the secondary school of the village starting in 1971, and graduated in 1982.
In 1982 he entered Gevorkian Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
From 1984 to 1986 he served in the Soviet Army.
On 7 May 1989 he was ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Housik Santourian.
In 1990 he defended his final theses entitled “The Life and Literary Heritage of Archimandrite Grigor Skearatsi.”
On 28 July 1991 was ordained as a celibate priest by Archbishop Nerses Pozapalian in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin. Upon his ordination he was asked to serve as a lecturer in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin while also working at the newly opened Centre of Christian Education and Preaching.
From 1993 to 1995 he served as the Executive Director of the Sunday School affiliated with the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
In 1995 by the order of the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin I, of Blessed Memory, he was appointed to serve as the director of the Centre of Christian Education and Preachingand successfully implemented the tasks entrusted to him. During his time of service, he published 26 books of spiritual content, textbooks on religion, and teacher’s manuals. In addition the “Christian Armenia” biweekly newspaper was established, as well as the radio broadcast of daily religious programs.
In 1996 he successfully defended his Doctoral thesis entitled “The Quotation Sources of the Books “Hartsmants”(“Book of Questions”) and “Voskeporik” by St. Gregory of Tatev.”
On 20 June 1996 he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) by His Holiness Karekin I.
In 1997- 99 with the support of the leader of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Artsakh His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan he organized the retraining of teachers of Religion in the public schools of Artsakh and Kashatagh.
In 1999 he established the office of the “Ecumenical Information Center” in the Yerevan, sponsored by the WWC Armenian Round Table.
On 1 December 1999 by the order of the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II he was appointed as the Vicar of the Diocese of Aragatsotn. During his two years in the Diocese, the Churches of Mughnu, Saghmaosavank, Byuragan, and Aparan were reopened, and the Mesrop Mashtots Diocesan Headquarters in Oshakan was re-organized and repaired.
From 2001 by regional authorities appointment and with the support of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin in the secondary schools of Aragatsotn the subject of History of the Armenian Church was officially introduced. The “Aragatsotn” biweekly newspaper was published.
On 4 September 2002 by the order of the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II he was appointed to serve as the Leader of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia.
Father Vazgen was consecrated as a Bishop on 23 July 2003, by the Catholicos of All Armenins, His Holiness Karekin II.
From 2003 to 2012 with the blessing and support of the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II were repaired and sanctified St. Echmiadzin Church in Tbilisi, Surb Khach Church in Akhalkalaki, Surb Harutiun (Holy Resurrection) Church of Abul village in Javakhk, Surb Gevorg Church in Arakova village, Surb Harutyun Church in Balkho village, Surb Minas Church in Bejhano, Surb Astvatsatsin Church in Baralet village, Surb Harutyun Church in Bughashen village, Surb Mateos Church in Burnashet village, Surb Sargis Church in Diliska village, Surb Khach Church in Khando village, Surb Astvatsatsin Church in Big Samsar village, Surb Harutyun Church in Small Samsar village, Surb Hovhannes Karapet Church in Kartsakh village.
Surb Karapet Church in Gandza village of Ninotsminda region, Surb Sargis Church in Khojabek village, Surb Metn Nerses in Satkha village, Surb Stepanos Church in Small Aragyal village. Church of St.Gregory the Illuminator in Akhaltsikhe, Church of the Holy Archangels in Tsira village of the Akhaltsikhe district, Surb Khach Church in Small Pamach village. Surb Gevorg Church in Khach village and Surb Gevorg Church in Ghush village of the Tsalka district. Surb Khach Church of Damala Village in AspindzaRegion. Surb Karapet Church of Tabatskuri in Borjomi region and Surb Gevorg Church in Molit village.
Surb Prkich Church of Shamshulda village in Tetri Tsqaro region. Chapel of the Holy Evangelists in Village Tsiteli Of Marneuli Region. Near the Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi the residence of the Diocese was built and in the churchyard of St. Echmiadzin Church in Tbilisi the “Hayartun” Cultural Center was build, reviving cultural an educational life and making the youth more active. The reconstruction works at the Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi and improvement of the area near the church have begun. Magazine “Norashen” was founded and valuable books of authors from“Vernatun” Union of Armenian Writers of Georgia were published.
The Armenian-language newspaper Ardzagank was founded, the website of the Diocese was created, and a video news report is made.
In 2015, on the basis of the application filed by the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and thanks to the funds provided by the Foundation for Reconstruction of St. George Cathedral, the rest of Hovhannes Tumanyan’s house was purchased and entirely transferred to the Diocese. The part of the house (150sqm), which is now turned into a library was acquired by Levon Ananyan the former chairman of the Writers’ Union of Armenia thanks to the financial support provided by the Mayor of Gyumri, Vardan Ghukasyan. The house passed into the hands of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. The Armenian Diocese in Georgia will undertake the reconstruction and will provide the house with necessary equipment and furniture.
In July of 2015, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan participated in the events dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide organized by the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia and blessing of the Holy Chrism in Antelias, Lebanon.
In 2015, in the village of Big Aragyal, Ninotsminda, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan presided over the service of reconsecration of a recently renovated Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church. The Church (built in 1830) was renovated with its yard and premises. Arthur and Aida Isoyans donated the reconstruction expenses.
On October 31, 2015, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided over the service of reconsecration of St. Gevorg Cathedral of Tbilisi, the bishops were also participating in the service. Repair of damage due to time and boosting the Cathedral’s appeal to churchgoers of the Armenian Apostolic Church was the aim of the reconstruction project launched in September 2012. It was initiated by IDeA Foundation, under the guidance of the devoted son of his nation, famous benefactor Ruben Vardanyan. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians blessed the initiative of the reconstruction of St. Gevorg Cathedral, the Georgian authorities supported the entire project. Bishop’s residence, yard and wide territory have been renovated as well.
During restoration, work was conducted to strengthen and waterproof the foundation, walls and domes were reinforced, exterior plaster was removed and the original exterior was restored.
Under the guidance of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, with the financial support of the RA Ministry of Diaspora, a house was purchased in Batumi, were a cultural, educational and youth center has been established. The Center is a Diocesan-owned property; it was remodeled thanks to the funds allocated by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation. The Headquarters of the Armenian Diocese in Georgian and the Surb Prkich Church parish raised funds to provide furnishings and finalize other aspects of interior design.
The Center was named after Alexander Mantashev. The activities of the Center are aimed at development of Armenian culture, the preservation of Armenian national identity, strengthening of the friendship between Armenians and Georgians.

From April 30 to May 11, 2016, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, at the invitation of His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian, Primate of the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada, visited the Armenian Church Diocese of Canada.

In Toronto the Primate met with the local clergy, the representatives of the parish and community-based structures, visited the Armenian churches.

On October 22, 2016, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, presided over the service of re-consecration of the Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church of the village of Sulda in Akhalkalaki region.

On October 23, 2016, on the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross, celebrated by the Armenian Apostolic Church, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, presided over the service of re-consecration of the Surb Sion(Saint Zion) Church of the village of Vachiani in Akhalkalaki region. Thus, the Armenian Diocese in Georgia has 56 functioning churches.

From October 28 to November 18, 2016, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, attended a meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council in the USA, within the framework of which he participated in the solemn celebration of the 110th anniversary of the Armenian General Benevolent Union and events organized by the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.

In 2016, on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Armenian Armed Forces, for noteworthy contributions towards spiritual and patriotic education of soldiers the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan was awarded the "Andranik Ozanyan" medal.