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Three years ago, on Sunday November 4, 1999, the consecration service and enthronement ceremonies of His Holiness Karekin II, the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenians, took place in the

Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin.

The third anniversary of the Armenian Pontiff’s ascent to the throne of St. Gregory the Illuminator was celebrated in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin on Sunday, November 3, during the Divine Liturgy. Participating in the celebrations were high-ranking representatives of the hierarchical sees of the Armenian Church, Diocesan Primates from Armenia and the Diaspora, the Brotherhood of Holy Echmiadzin, members of the Supreme Spiritual Council, and hundreds of faithful. His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, celebrated the Divine Liturgy. On the occasion of the third anniversary, the Diocesan Primates and the Bishops of the Church conducted a special Pontifical Blessing service before the Holy Altar of Descent in the Cathedral.

In his sermon, Abp. Barsamian reflected on the productive work of the Pontiff of All Armenians over the past three years, and noted that in that short time, His Holiness has accomplished a great many achievements. He specifically stressed the vast number of churches which have been built by the Catholicos, as well as the preparation of an entire new generation of clergymen who are being readied to serve the Church.

Heads of sister churches, incumbents of the hierarchical sees of the Armenian Church, Diocesan Primates, the Brotherhood of Holy Echmiadzin, government officials, employees of the Mother See, and members of the cultural and scientific community of Armenia have all expressed their congratulatory messages and best wishes to His Holiness on this occasion.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Cardinal Msgr. Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio for the Roman Catholic Church for the Caucasus, presented to His Holiness Karekin II the congratulatory message from His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

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