ARCHBISHOP VAZGEN MIRZAKHANYAN SANCTIFIES CHURCH OF HOLY BLESSED
VIRGIN OF GREAT SAMSAR, AKHALKALAK

ARKA News Agency
Aug 3 2005

YEREVAN, August 3. /ARKA/. Head of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian
Apostolic Church, Archbishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan re-sanctified the
Church of the Holy Blessed Virgin in the village of of Great Samsar,
Akhalkalak region, Georgia. The member of the Georgian Parliament
Hamlet Movsisyan, Mayor of Akhalkalak Nairi Iritsyan, Leader of
the popular movement "Javakhk" Norik Karapetyan and Co-Chair of the
Forum of Javakhk Intellectuals David Rstakyan were present at the
sanctifying ceremony.

After the ceremony Archbishop Mirzakhanyan blessed the flock,
congratulated them on this occasion, and called on them to keep
devotion to the Armenian Apostolic Church and to the traditions of
their fathers. He appreciated the charity of Samvel Barseghyan, a
native of this village, who sponsored the reconstruction of the church.

The village of Great Samsar was founded in 1848 by the clergyman
Barsegh (a grandfather of Samvel Barseghyan). According to some
historical data, the village was founded on the site of the ancient
settlement of Samsar, and many people think that it was Samosat. The
Church of the Holy Blessed Virgin was constructed in 1850 and was
destroyed by the 1899 earthquake. After that, the population of the
Great Samsar reconstructed it in 1902. A.A. -0--