Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address: Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact: Dn. Armen Devejian
Tel: (374 1) 517 163
Fax: (374 1) 517 301
June 17, 2003
Highest Insignia of the Armenian Church Awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Aret Yerganian
On Sunday, June 15, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, awarded the Medal of “Saint Gregory the Illuminator” to Benefactors Aret and Monique Yerganian, of Istanbul, Turkey. The Insignia is the highest award that the Armenian Church bestows upon her faithful sons and daughters, by the decision of the Catholicos of All Armenians. This is the first visit of Mr. and Mrs. Yerganian to Armenia, and their first pilgrimage to the spiritual center of the Armenian Church, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
His Holiness received the benefactors in the Mother See earlier in the week, and during their meeting, Mr. and Mrs. Yerganian became closely acquainted with the manifold activities of the Mother See. During their visit to Armenia, Mr. and Mrs. Yerganian also visited the Vaskenian Seminary of Sevan, the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan, and the Armenian Church Youth Center in the Nork District of Yerevan.
Following the celebration of Divine Liturgy on Sunday, His Holiness received the benefactors in the Residence of the Catholicos, whereupon he decorated both Aret and Monique Yerganian with their medals. In his remarks, His Holiness stated, “We highly appreciate the national and patriotic position of the Yerganians, which they demonstrate towards the preservation of our sacred shrines. We also highly commend them on their caring attitude toward the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.”
His Holiness further noted that he has met Armenians from Istanbul and Turkey in different places throughout the world, who are truly faithful Armenian Christians, displaying great concern towards the values and treasures of our nation and people, and are faithful children of the Mother See. His Holiness further mentioned that he recalls Catholicos Vasken I of blessed memory, who would often speak of the love of the Istanbul Armenians towards the Catholicosate of All Armenians, and since his enthronement, His Holiness stated that he also can testify to the same.
The Yerganians thanked His Holiness for the high honor, and kissed his anointed right hand, pledging to always remain faithful to their oath to serve the Armenian Church and to protect Armenian Christian treasures and traditions.