Prelate’s Christmas Message

By the mercy of God–once again we are preparing to celebrate the life-giving feast–the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God revealed His immense love towards humanity through the birth of the New King in a manger in Bethlehem–who is the Son of God and the Savior of our souls. The Armenian Apostolic Church call this wondrous incarnation "Great and deep mystery." We read in the Gospel–"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son–that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

In spite of certain difficulties–in the year 2000–our Fatherland Armenia lived peacefully and recorded new achievemen’s. It is our wish that our free and independent Armenia be prosperous and establish its normal life.

The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin–under the wise leadership of His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–was recognized with its religious–educational–financial and others departmen’s. The Supreme Spiritual is strengthened with its new and young staff. Through the Pontifical visitations of His Holiness to the Christian Religious leaders–close cooperation was initiated with the Mother See and those sister churches. Through the Pontifical visitations of His Holiness Karekin II to the Armenian Dioceses–the spiritual bond between the Mother See and the faithful was further strengthened. In May of 2001–the Western Diocese also will be blessed by the Pontifical Visit of His Holiness.

The entire Armenia’s of the world and especially the Mother See is preparing to celebrate the 1700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Christianity in Armenia as well as in the Diaspora. These celebrations will be occasion for spiritual rejoicing and renewal and success for the Western Diocese and our Parishes. The construction works of the Diocesan Dickranian Complex were proceeded according to schedule–and a few months ago–the offices and several areas were completed. Enthusiastically we are planning the construction activities of the Kalaydjian Banquet Hall and the Mother Church.

On the occasion of Holy Nativity let us pray for the peace of the world–for the security and strengthening of Armenia and Karabakh. Likewise let us also pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the safety of the Holy Places.

It is our prayers and wish that the newly born Savior always dwell within our hearts and guide us all with His wisdom.

On the occasion of the New Year and the Holy Nativity–whole-heartedly we congratulate His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s with best wishes of health and longevity. We also congratulate the Honorable Robert Kocharian–President of the Republic of Armenia; the Honorable Arkady Ghoukassian–President of Karabakh; the leaders of the Governmen’s of Armenia and Karabakh and our entire patriots. We also wish that the life giving graces of the newly born Savior be bestowed abundantly upon the United States of America and upon the President and his family.

We send our fatherly greetings of love and blessings to the Clergy of the Western Diocese–Diocesan and Parish organizations and to our entire faithful.

With all the spirit of the Holy Nativity and with spiritual joy let us greet one another–saying "Great Tidings to us all,"

"Christ is born and revealed; blessed is the revelation of Christ."

With Fatherly Blessings,

Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian

Western Diocese

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