Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
13 April 2016. On Wednesday afternoon, Holinesses Karekin II of All Armenians and Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, accompanied by Ashod Ghoulian, President of the National Council of Karabakh, visited the historical monastery of Kantsasar. At the Monastery, the two Catholicoi entered St. John Cathedral in procession and celebrated the Canonical Service.
Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian, the Prelate, welcomed the two Spiritual Leaders of the Armenian Church and invited His Holiness Karekin II to read the message. In his message he told the people that the purpose of the visit of the two Catholicoi was to pray and express their solidarity with the people and the army, and to uphold efforts aimed at building their homeland based on peace and justice.
Addressing the people, His Holiness Aram I added that although the current visit was his first time in Karabakh, this historical land has always been in his heart and mind. He said that historically, Armenians had never robbed people of their rights but they have always been aware of their own rights based on justice. He called upon all Armenians to unite and express their solidarity with the people and army of Karabakh.
After the visit to the Monastery, the two Catholicoi went to the military hospital and prayed for the soldiers who have been injured and those who have lost their lives during the recent aggressions.
In the evening, Holinesses Karekin II and Aram I and President Pago Sahakian walked through the centre of Stepanagert the capital city, before joining the official guests to the dinner organized by the President in their honour.
Before leaving for Yerevan, the Catholicoi announced to the leadership of the Republic of Karabagh that in the name of the Holy Sees of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia and the respective dioceses, each was donating US $500,000 (five hundred thousand US dollars) to help the government respond to the urgent needs of the people.