President Serzh Sargsyan attended today the official consecration ceremony of Holy Martyrs Armenian Catholic Church, an episcopal residence, in Gyumri. The ceremony was held as part of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. The church is named “Holy Martyrs” in memory of the Holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
The sacred ceremony was attended by RA government officials, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Armenia, members of the Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church, as well as by the sponsors of the church construction and worldly guests from different countries.
The ceremony was co-conducted by His Eminence Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and His Beatitude Gregory Petros XX Gabroyan, newly elected Catholicos-Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church.
On the occasion of the church opening, Papal Nuncio Bishop Marek Solczynski read the message of Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, and the episcopal delegation of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin presented the patriarchal blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
About the construction of the church
It was S. E. Archbishop Nerses Der-Nersessian of blessed memory, the first primate of the Ordinariate of the Armenian Catholic Church in Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Eastern Europe, who pursued a goal to build an Armenian Catholic church in Gyumri as an episcopal residence. The preparatory actions were continued by second Primate S. E. Archbishop Nshan Karakeheeyan, construction works started in 2010 during the service of H. Vahan Ohanyan, an apostolic delegate, with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and with the support of the RA government.
The church construction was continued and finished by S. E. Archbishop Rafael Minasyan who took the office of primate in 2011. It was his decision to name the church Holy Martyrs as a symbol of the Armenian Genocide Centennial to keep the martyrs’ memories alive forever.
The chief supporters of the construction of Holy Martyrs Church are the Holy See, the Council of Oriental Churches, the Italian Synod of Bishops, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renovabis, Kirche in Not, the Archdiocese of Cologne, the association Work in the East, Rome’s Levonian Pontifical College, St Vlas Church, and the Caporale family from Italy.
Within the frames of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, a cross-stone to martyrs has been erected in the yard of Holy Martyrs Church.