33rd YEAR OF OPENING OF ARTSAKH DIOCESE
We congratulate all of us with satisfaction and joy on the 33rd anniversary of the opening of the Artsakh Diocese. The opening of the then closed diocese in 1930 was the birth of the spiritual aspirations of our people and the search for national identity. One of the important fruits of the liberation movement started in Artsakh was the opening of the Artsakh Diocese on October 1, 1989, on the feast of the Holy Cross of Varaga, with the kondak of Patriarch Vazgen, which broke through the half-century spiritual blockade.
The newly opened Artsakh Diocese has become a stamp of our liberation struggle and the spiritual support of our righteous demand. The diocese, which is the historical successor of the Armenian Catholicosate of Aghvan, headed by the first Primate, Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, actively and diligently harnessed to the spiritual awakening of Artsakh. “The harvest was plentiful, but the laborers were few...” (Mt. 9:37-38), and after the spiritual decline caused by the Soviet government, thanks to a few but devoted clergymen, the Artsakh Diocese was able to revive the spiritual field and create a solid foundation for re-Christianization our people.
Armenian Artsakh is one of the oldest centers of the Christian world, where the names of many blessed saints are imprinted. The relics of many common Christian saints, the shed blood of martyrs and the centuries-old monasteries and churches built on these foundations have made this small country a real shrine.
Passing together with our people the difficult path of liberation, independence and wars of Artsakh, the Artsakh Diocese continues to move forward with confident steps, enlightening, comforting and encouraging our people with the life-giving word of Christ.
We pray that the age, which symbolizes the 33 years of the earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, after the crucifixion will become for the Artsakh Diocese a symbol and impulse of resurrection and perpetuation, and we are sure that the victories achieved with the opening of the diocese 33 years ago will return thanks to our faith and devotion to the Motherland.