Aug 23 2007

His Holiness Karekin II Blessed Me In Central Park: 2001

1700th Anniversary of Armenia

On May 25-28, 2001 I went on a retreat with my church for a sports weekend full of athletic competitions, friends and other activities. That Friday (25th) we went to St. Leon’s Church to celebrate of the 1700th Anniversary of the Armenian Church (301 AD). We were going to be visited by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (Pope equivalent) for a special mass ceremony called the “Badarak”. As His Holiness was walking down the center isle after the service was over, I was sitting on the edge and had the perfect opportunity to greet him properly. Right as he was passing me, I said, “Asdvadz Oknagan, Vehapar Der” (God Be Your Helper, Your Holiness). He stopped, turned to me, gave me a cross putting his hand on my shoulder, blessed me and my cross and said back “Asdvadz Bahaban” (God Be Your Protector). That was a great moment for me knowing the head of all armenians blessed me personally. It would have been fine if that was the only cool thing that happened that weekend, but it wasn’t.

The next morning (26th) we drove into New York City for a Badarak by His Holiness Karekin II in Central Park. The entire area was filled with people (don’t know how many) to the point where it was hard to move. It was raining that day and everyone had rain coats on becasue they were not going to miss watching His Holiness speak. The Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern) Khajag Barsamian spoke for awhile and then introduced His Holiness Karekin II. As the Catholicos got up to the microphone, the rain stopped, the clouds disappeared and the sun came up. Now, some would call that a coincidence, but I like to believe that it was God’s will for Him to stop the rain the second the Catholicos started to speak.

The day got a lot better after the service was over and the Catholicos walked around Central Park blessing the crowd. Again I was sitting on the end of the row and as he passed me, he stopped and put his hand on my shoulder blessing me in front of everyone. All of my friends were jealous that I was blessed twice by the Catholicos in less than 24 hours. He obviously remembered me which was amazing and I was shocked that he did it in Central Park.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend and one that I will remember for a very long time. One month after that weekend, I traveled to Armenia where I was able to visit the Catholicos’ church, “Holy Etchmiadzin“.

holiness, karekin ii, karekin, nyc, armenian, armenia, catholicos

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.armenianeagle.com/2007/08/23/his-holiness-karekin-ii-blessed-me-in-central-park-2001/


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