Pargev MartirosyanTuesday, December 31, 2019
Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan (Armenian: Պարգև արքեպիսկոպոս Մարտիրոսյան; born 20 March 1954) is the current Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He had held the position since the re-establishment of the diocese in 1989.
Martirosyan was born as Gurgen Martirosyan in the Soviet Azerbaijani city of Sumqayit in 1954 to an Armenian family from Chardakhly village. His family moved to Yerevan in 1966. In 1976 he graduated from the Yerevan Institute of Foreign Languages. Martirosyan later worked in Yeghegnut village school as a Russian language teacher, after which he was drafted to the Soviet army. From 1978 to 1980, he worked at the Ministry of Industry. In 1980 Martirosyan was admitted to the Gevorkian Theological Seminary in Ejmiatsin. He was ordained as a deacon in 1983. He finished the seminary in 1984 and continued his education at the Leningrad Theological Academy until 1986.
Caroline Cox, Baroness Cox described him as "a man of considerable intellect, substance, humanity, as well as a man of faith".
In 1985 he was ordained as a celibate priest and named Pargev. In April 1987 he was named vardapet (archimandrite). He taught at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary. In 1987 he earned his doctoral degree in theology from the Leningrad Theological Academy. The same year he started serving at the Saint Hripsime Church. In November 1988 he was consecrated as bishop by Catholicos Vazgen I. In March 1989, he was appointed the primate of the newly created Diocese of Artsakh. In 1999 he was given the title of archbishop by Karekin I.
Pargev Martirosyan was in Karabakh throughout the war with Azerbaijan, which ended in 1994. The Armenian forces marked their first major victory on 8–9 May 1992, when they took over Shusha, the historic center of the region. Archbishop Pargev blessed the Armenian soldiers before the start of the operation. On the morning of 9 May 1992 Archbishop Pargev with a number of Armenians soldiers entered the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shusha, where they prayed for the fallen soldiers. It was the first time since the 1920 Shusha massacre that a prayer was heard at the cathedral. Soon after the city was captured, restoration work began at Ghazanchetsots, which was used as an arsenal by the Azerbaijanis.
Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan is an author of three books and a number of articles and essays.
Archbishop Martirosyan has a 1st dan-ranked black belt in shotokan karate. He is the honorary president of the Shotokan Karate Federation of Armenia. Primate of the Artsakh Diocese Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan conferred the highest Honorary Title of the “Hero of Artsakh”