ARCHBISHOP GEVORG SERAIDARYAN
1972-2002 (Years of Leadership)
Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan (baptismal name Karpis (Karapet) was born on August 29, 1938 in Bucharest, Romania. Father was Stephan Seraidaryan, mother was Makruhi Halachian. He received his primary education at the Armenian school in Bucharest, Romania.
In 1948, he immigrated with his family to Armenia, where he studied at Leninakan secondary school and at the same time served as a Clerk in the local Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) Church.
In 1952, he continued his studies in Yerevan. In 1956, he entered the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, successfully graduated from the seminary in 1962, and defended his final theses entitled “History of Aparan Cross and Grigor Narekatsi”.
On September 23, 1962, he was ordained as a deacon.
On April 12, 1964, he was ordained as a celibate priest, and in 1965, he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet).
From 1966 to 1967, he served at the as the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Russia and Nor Nakhichevan as the Vicar General. He returned to the Mother See and received a position of the Head of the Museums of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin. Later he served as sub-sacristan at the Mother Cathedral of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, and then he was appointed as the crosier-bearer of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
From 1970 to 1972, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan taught History and the Low of God in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
In 1972, by the order of Vazgen I Paljyan, Catholicos of All Armenians was appointed to serve at the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia, as the Vicar General.
In 1973, after successfully defending his Doctoral thesis entitled “A Treatise on the Calendar” Vazgen I Paljyan, Catholicos of All Armenians granted him the rank of Senior Archimandrite (Dzayraguyn Archimandrite).
On October 30, 1973, Senior Archimandrite Gevorg Seraidaryan was consecrated as a Bishop and was appointed to serve at the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia, as the Primate.
From 1977 to 1978, by the order of Bishop Gevorg Seraidaryan the contractors of the Cathedral of St. George in Tbilisi detected six layers of oil paint and plaster on the walls. They repaired 16 big ornaments that had been painted by the 18th century famous Armenian painter Hovnatan Hovnatanian. Later it was detected that the son of Hovnatan Hovnatanian, the talented painter Mkrtum Hovnatanian had already repaired these ornaments after the ravage of Tbilisi in 1795.
In 1977, by the order of Bishop Gevorg Seraidaryan the relics of Archbishop Gabriel Aivazyan (1812-1880), Bishop Khoren Stepanyan (1840-1900), Editors Abgar Hovhannisyan (1849-1904) and Petros Simonyan (1830-1911) were transferred from Vank Church to the Cathedral of St. George in Tbilisi and was reburied in front of the Cathedral.
On September 15, 1977, by the order of Vazgen I Paljyan, Catholicos of All Armenians Bishop Gevorg Seraidaryan was appointed as the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Geghard, Armenian, meanwhile being the Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia.
In 1995, Vazgen I Paljyan, Catholicos of All Armenians, granted Bishop Gevorg Seraidaryan the title of Archbishop and he was elected as a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
In 1998, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan was granted the Medal of Honor for his significant contribution to strengthening the centuries-old Georgian-Armenian friendship.
From 1979 to 1980, the Chancery of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia was rebuilt and expanded.
In 1988, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan consecrated Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Chapel in Daghet village, Georgia.
In 1989, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan consecrated Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) Church in Shahumian region and later some the reconstruction works were held there by the order of Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan.
In 1990, upon the numerous requests of Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan, Georgian Government returned the full ownership of the Armenian Surb Prkich (Holy Savior) Church in Batumi to the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia. Later by the order of Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan the church was repaired.
In 1991, the baptistery in Metsara village (Gudauda) was opened and sanctified. In the same year, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidarian was elected a member of Management Board of the Armenian Benevolent Society in Georgia.
In 1992, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan consecrated the Armenian Surb Harutyun (Holy Resuraction) Vestry in Sukhumi.
In the end of 1992, the reinforcement of the walls and foundation of St. Echmiadzin Church in Tbilisi, which was damaged after the earthquake, was completed by the order of Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan.
Starting with 1971, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan continuously composed and published official calendars of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenian language, and from 1978 in Russian. He published many articles in Armenian and Russian newspapers and magazines, he translated his work “A Treatise on the Calendar”, which ranks first among the translations of the works on Armenian calendar in Russian. He himself was the author of several books about the Armenian Calendar and Religious Instruction.
In 1996, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan established Surb Eghia (St. Elijah) Sunday school of the Diocese.
Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan deceased on September 11, 2002; he was buried in graveyard of the Cathedral of St. George in Tbilisi, Georgia.
As a Spiritual leader of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia during 30 tireless years of his leadership, Archbishop Gevorg Seraidaryan made a huge contribution to the cultural, spiritual and ecclesiastic life of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia.