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Pilgrimage to the 9 sanctuaries of the Armenian Church PDF Print E-mail

A1On July 27-29, 2018, on the initiative of the Association of Armenian Women in Georgia “Shushanik” a pilgrimage of the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi to the sanctuaries of Armenia and Artsakh was organized. With blessings and good wishes of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, more than 30 pilgrims, led by the Chairwomen of above mentioned organization Susanna 1 1Khachatryan and the Assistant to the pastor of the Cathedral of Saint George Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan, left for the sanctuaries of Artsakh from the Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari. The age differences of the members of the group was noticeable: young people, middle-aged participants were included, as well as older people who had a dream to come and visit historical Artsakh and bow their heads before the heroic people of Artsakh. The pilgrims had a great and joyful mood, they had steadfast willingness to pass the way of pilgrimage and take part in spiritual ceremonies.
The first stop of the pilgrims was the center of education of Sevan Vazgenyan. After a short rest here, the pilgrims continued their way.
1 2The first day of the pilgrimage ended with a visit to the Dadivank Monastery complex, where Rev. Father Hovhannes Hovhannisyan welcomed and greeted the Armenian pilgrims from Georgia. Rev. Father presented the story of Dadivank, told about the restoration works that is being carried out here. The pilgrims, led by the priest, toured the monastery complex, lit candles and offered their prayers to God. 1 3
The pilgrims also visited the ancient Armenian Gandzasar Monastery complex built in the X century. Throughout the period of its existence, it served as a spiritual center, afterwards as a residence of Catholicoses, and now it continue to fulfill its mission, becoming a house of God and a testimony of the loyalty to the religion and traditions of the first Christian country. The pilgrims offered their prayers to God asking for peace, strengthening and prosperity of Armenia, Artsakh and Georgia.
The next place was the Amaras Monastery, the spiritual monument founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the IV century, where Grigoris, the grandson 1 4of Saint Gregory the Illuminator was buried.
The pilgrims also visited the Ghazanchetsots Holy Savior Cathedral of Shushi, lit candles in Saint John the Baptist church, in Kanachkam. Here the pilgrims took part in the Saturday Evening Service offered by Rev. Father Kirakos. 1 5
The dream of the Armenian faithful of Tbilisi was to be in the historical monument, a unique example of the Armenian architecture, the largest university in Medieval Armenia, Tatev Monastery, built in IX century. The faithful were present at the soul-stirring service offered at the temple. Afterwards, they took part in Sunday Divine Liturgy celebrated by Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan.
The desire to get in touch with the spiritual and to get new impetus was so great that the pilgrims were not satisfied with only ancient historical temples, 1 6but also visited the Saint Vardan church in the village of Chartar, in Artsakh. The church was consecrated just one and a half months ago. The pilgrims admired the beauty of the newly-built temple and prayed together with local pastor Rev. Father Serovbe Patvakanyan.
The soul-stirring pilgrimage ended in Noravank Monastery, with the prayer of peace and welcome back under the leadership of Rev. Father Zareh Dabaghyan. In all nine sanctuaries, pilgrims prayed for world peace, progress and prosperity of countries, healing of people, strengthen of families, children's health and success.
The pilgrims of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia expresses their profound gratitude to His Grace Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, the leader of the Tatev Monastery complex Rev. Father Michael Gevorgyan, Deacons Samvel Mkrtchyan, Harutyun Keshishyan and Nver Abgaryan for their support and reception of the Armenian pilgrims from Tbilisi.

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