Jirayr Tanielian

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Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Fr. Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: cathcil@cathcil.org
Web: http://www.cathcil.org/

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version: http://www.cathcil.org/v04/doc/Armenian.htm


His Holiness Aram I awarded the "Mesrob Masdots" Medal of Honor to Lebanese-Armenian intellectuals Bebo Simonian and Jirayr Tanielian during a special ceremony outside the St. Asdvadzadzine Monastery in Bikfaya on August 16.

Members of the Cilician Brotherhood, the Primate of the Diocese of Lebanon and representatives of the Central Executive Council, Rev. Soghomon Kilaghbian, Armenian MPs, the Ambassador of Armenia to Lebanon, Arek Hovhannisian, the intellectuals participating in the Armenia-Diaspora conference and representatives from cultural and educational organizations attended the ceremony.

The opening remarks were delivered by the Chancellor of the Catholicosate, Mr. Khatchig Dedeian, who pointed out that the ceremony is an obligation towards two prominent intellectuals, well known for the work they have carried out in the Armenian Community.

Aharon Shkeherdemian talked about the efficacy of Bebo Simonian, presenting him as a teacher, pedagogue, writer, poet, editor and an ideological man.

"However we look at Bebo Simonian's work, he will appear before us as a man of culture and a legitimate intellectual. He belongs to the class of intellectuals who suffers with the conflicts of Armenians and the world. He does not yield against social and human unjustness," he said.

Garo Hovhannesian talked about Jirayr Tanielian the individual, writer, teacher, principle and the dedicated servant to his nation, who "infected" society with his hard work.

"Jirayr Tanielian has no money to distribute, even though throughout out his career has helped out a lot of students in paying their fees. However, he has given extensively intellectually and spiritually speaking. He has given from his heart, he has given from his soul and this makes what he has given very valuable and deeply humane," said Hovhannesian.

Irma Dedeian recited poems by Vahan Tekeian (Hashvehartar) and Taniel Varoujan (Sermanogh).

His Holiness Aram I expressed his respect and love for the two intellectuals, highlighting their sense of dedication, which allowed them to consider the interests of the nation as being more important than personal gains.

His Holiness assured that the important role played by the two intellectuals, especially in providing Armenian education to the new generations was undeniable. The Catholicos based his praise for the two intellectuals on three main arguments:

- The Catholicosate of Cilicia values quality and values, words, the reflection of which can be seen in the lives of Bebo and Jirayr.

- The Catholicosate praises all worthy Armenians without discrimination. A human being's worth is measured against his contribution to his nation's collective interests.

- The Catholicosate praises not only those who make financial contributions, but also those who give from their intellect and souls. Those who give money, give something they own. But those who give from their intellect or their soul give from themselves.

"Bebo and Simon worked for others; Two people, who not only wrote, spoke, read, but also taught, formed, established their viewpoints and approaches and derived their impetus from our nation's conflicts and interests," said His Holiness.

His Holiness' Encyclicals were then read out and the Pontiff decorated the two intellectuals with the "Mesrob Mashdots" Medals. The two intellectuals expressed their gratitude to His Holiness Aram I and the attendants.

The congratulatory note of the Zaven Yegavian, director of the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Asdghig Tchamkerten were also read out.

The ceremony ended with "Cilicia" and "Mer Hairenik".

View pictures here:


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of the Catholicosate, http://www.cathcil.org/ The Cilician Catholicosate, the administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.