Right Rev. Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate
His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan (the real name Edward) was born on July 21, 1965, in the village of Artimed (formerly Atarbekyan), Armavir Region.
From 1982 to 1989 he studied and graduated from the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. From 1984 to 1986 he served in the Soviet Army. On May 7, 1989, was ordained a deacon by His Grace Archbishop Husik Sandourian.
In 1990 Mirzakhanyan defended his dissertation on the theme "Grigor Vardapet Skeratsi’s life and literary inheritance" and got an excellent mark.
On July 28, 1991, with the solemn blessing of His Holiness Vazgen I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,Vazgen Mirzakhanyan was ordained a friar in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin by His Grace Archbishop Nerses Pozapalian. After the ordaining, he got down to work in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary and the newly opened Christian Education Center.
In 1993-95 he was the head of the adjacent Sunday School of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the school of Araratian Pontifical Diocese.
From 1995 to 1999 under the leadership of His Holiness Karekin II ,Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, he was appointed the managing director of the reorganized CEPC. Before the end of his tenure, he organized training courses for teachers of Christian Teaching in a number of cities of Armenia and Artsakh. During that period, the CEPC published 26 books of spiritual literature, religious textbooks and teacher training manuals. The "Qristonya Hayastan" weekly newspaper has been established, the daily “Sireq zmimeants”, the Saturday “Khoran lusoy” and the Sunday children’s religious “Aravot lusoy” TV programmes were realized.
In 1996 he presented and defended the doctrinal thesis on the theme "The sources of speech of Fathers of church in St. Grigor Tatevatsi's" Hartsmants" and " Voskeporik" books.
On June 20,1996, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Altar by His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians , he received four degrees of private doctrine.
On December 1, 1999, under the Patriarchal authority of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians , he was appointed a vicar of the Aragatsotn Diocese.
In 2001 at the initiative of His Grace Vazgen Vardapet Mirzakhanyan and with the support of Aragatsotn regional authorities and the Mother See, the subject of Christian religion has been officially included in the general education schools of Aragatsotn region.
During his work from 2000 to 2002, the reconstruction of the monastic complexes of "Surb Gevorg" and "Saghmosavank" of Mughni , the churches of "Surb Hovhannes " of Byurakan, “Surb Khach” of Aparan and "Surb Mesrop Mashtots" of Oshakan were completed and their rededication ceremonies were arranged.
"Aragatsotn" weekly newspaper was published during the mentioned period.
On September 4,2002, under the Patriarchal authority of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Vazgen Mirzakhanyan was appointed the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia.
On June 23, 2003 ,by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, he has been ordained a bishop.
Since 2006 ,His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan is a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
From 2003 to 2018 in the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia about 46 churches and chapels were built, renovated and dedicated in Tbilisi, Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki, Aspindza, Batumi, Tetri-Tskharo, Tsalka, Marneuli, Ninotsminda cities and regions.
During the leadership of His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, "Hayartun", "Vazgen I Catholicos of All Armenians", "Karapet Archbishop Bagratuni "," Khrimyan Hayrik "," Alexander Mantashyants "," Rafael Javakh " and " St. Grigor Narekatsi " educational, cultural and youth centers were established where groups and ensemble of singing, dance, folk instruments, recitations, vocal tools, computer training and aesthetic education are operating. Preschools, Saturday and Sunday schools are operating as well.
In order to make the activity of the Dioceses effective, a flexible management system has been introduced in education, culture, youth, press and media, law and cooperation, financial- administrative and social departments. The Diocese is replenished with priests and deacons, and the number of employees has increased dramatically.
Hovhannes Tumanyan's house was acquired, which after the renovation and furnishing became H. Tumanyan’s Scientific-Cultural Center.
Over a dozen of valuable books and albums have been published in collaboration with the Union of Writers of Georgia, "Vernatun" Union of Armenian Writers in Georgia and individual figures. "Norashen" magazine was published as well.
The diocese's website has been set up.
The buildings of the Diocese of Prelacy and "Hayartun" center in Tbilisi, the building of "Khrimyan Hayrik"center in the village of Arakova ,Akhalkalaki region were built, the buildings of "Alexander Mantashyats" center in Batumi and "Rafael Javakh" in Ninotsminda were acquired, which were renovated and furnished.
During the mentioned period, dozens of cross-stones and monuments have been raised and dedicated in the Armenian-populated cities and villages of Georgia.
Community and non-governmental organizations have been established to promote spiritual, educational, cultural and youth activities. Traditional and ritual traditions have been restored, and the culture of Armenian cuisine has been widely spread.
Practical and friendly terms were established together with the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarchate, the Georgian government and religious and national communities in Georgia.
Close cooperation has been established with Mother Country Armenia, pan-Armenian structures and Armenian diaspora.