STEPANAKERT — His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenian, visited the frontline of Nagorno Karabakh accompanied by Deputy Commander of the NKR Defense Army, Major General Vardan Balayan and members of the Supreme Spiritual Council to bring his blessing to the commanders and soldiers.

“Accept our blessing, appreciation and gratitude for the devoted service you are carrying out to keep our borders secure and ensure peace in Armenia and Artsakh,” His Holiness said.

The Catholicos wished the soldiers safe service and triumphant return home

His Holiness presented crosses to the soldiers and another one to the chapel built by the servicemen.

On September 7, Catholicos Karekin II visited the Gandzasar Monastery, where a “Hrashapar” service was offered. The service was attended by NKR President Bako Sahakyian and NKR National Assembly Chairman Ashot Ghoulyian, as well as soldiers and residents of the village of Vank.

A prayer was offered in the St. John the Baptist Church, following which His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosian, Primate of the Diocese of Nagorno Karabakh welcomed His Holiness. In his remarks, Archbishop Pargev noted that it was unique and historical event that for the first time a Supreme Spiritual Council meeting was convened in the NKR, gathering in the capital Stepanakert and the monastery of Gandzasar. He expressed his gratitude to His Holiness for granting that high honor. “You are here to be supportive and fortify your spiritual flock, your children and soldiers, to keep our borders and peaceful ad unshakable”, Archbishop Pargev said.

The Catholicos of All Armenians conveyed his Pontifical blessings to the faithful praising and praying the Lord for granting the opportunity to visit the NKR during the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the NKR’s independence.

“We are here to convey our blessings to the brave people of Nagorno Karabakh, to express our support to the NKR authorities, and to bless the brave Armenian warriors of the NKR Army so that their arm will always be victorious”, stated His Holiness.

The Catholicos of All Armenians expressed gratitude to the NKR President for the invitation and warm hospitality, also expressed his appreciation to the NKR authorities for keeping Nagorno Karabakh vibrant and prosperous. His Holiness also prayed for the Army, its Armenian soldiers and commanders.

At the conclusion, His Holiness offered the Protector prayer, and asked the Almighty that the NKR never be subjected to trial and live in peace, love and prosperity.

Following the “Hrashapar” service, the Supreme Spiritual Council session was held in the library building of the monastery complex.

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