Watch a Video Report of the Alex & Marie Manoogian interment ceremony HERE (5:11)
On Friday, July 13, the earthly remains of Alex Manoogian, National Hero of the Republic of Armenia, Life President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union and national benefactor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, along with those of his wife, Marie Manoogian, arrived in the homeland via the Paris–Yerevan flight. They had previously been interred in Detroit, Michigan (U.S.A.).
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, accompanied by Mr. Tigran Torosian, President of the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Republic of Armenia; Mr. Serge Sargsian, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia; members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin and government ministers were at the airport in the evening to receive the remains of the national hero and his wife, who were accorded full state honors.
Joining the high-ranking clergymen and state officials were Mrs. Louise Manoogian Simone, the daughter of the Manoogians; Manoogian Family members; Mr. Berge Setrakian, President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union; members of the AGBU Central Committee; benefactors of the Armenian Church and pious faithful.
The solemn cortege, accompanied by the honor guard of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia moved from the airport to the Monastery of Saint Gayane in Vagharshapat, and the caskets containing the earthly remains of Alex and Marie Manoogian were placed inside the sanctuary by the members of the honor guard.
Inside the Church of Saint Gayane, His Holiness offered a solemn requiem service asking for eternal rest for the souls of Alex and Marie Manoogian, where they will lie in repose until Tuesday, July 17, when they shall be interred in Holy Etchmiadzin.
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THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON THE OCCASION OF BRINGING THE EARTHLY REMAINS OF NATIONAL BENEFACTORS ALEX AND MARIE MANOOGIAN TO THE MOTHER SEE OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN
13 July 2007, Monastery of Saint Gayane, Holy Etchmiadzin
Honorable President of the National Assembly, Dear Manoogian Family, Reverend Clergy and Dear Pious People,
The return of children who have lived with the love of the homeland to the homeland-–the haven of the nation’s immortal spirit-–is steeped in mystery. Through the grace of the Almighty, our free land receives today its dedicated scions – National Hero of the Republic of Armenia, Life President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Alex Manoogian and his beloved wife, Marie Manoogian, who lived and contributed selfless efforts for the love of the renaissance and vibrancy of the spiritual and national life of our people dispersed throughout the world. With great philanthropy, they illuminated our churches, and educational and cultural institutions. They created the luminous path of their own lives, as well as the lives of countless Armenians, with the faith and vision of a renewed, prosperous and flourishing homeland. The preservation of the concept of homeland and of the legacy of our ancestors within the souls of all Armenians was the aspiration of the great benefactors. Unwavering fidelity to the bright future of the homeland, the Armenian people and to Holy Etchmiadzin is the inheritance they left to future generations, with the belief in the eternity of the nation and its sacred values. The love of our Church and Holy Etchmiadzin was embedded in the soul of Alex Manoogian at a young age. He was always tied to church life with warmth and love, contributing to the mission of our Church, as well as through his philanthropic works and as a deacon serving at the Holy Altar of our Lord. We reflect with deep emotion that Alex and Marie Manoogian, with a faithful and noble heart, cared for their neighbors throughout their entire God-granted life together, and through their many acts of charity, brought to life the message of the Gospel. As commendable citizens of the United States, with feelings of gratitude toward America, they extended their philanthropy to the educational and cultural life of the United States as well.
The luminous memory of Mr. and Mrs. Manoogian is unforgettable. Through their church-building and nation-benefiting endeavors, they have become worthy of the warm love and sincere respect of our people dispersed throughout the world. The high awards and medals which have been bestowed upon Alex Manoogian represent praise for their virtuous lives and appreciation for their service and labors. He was worthily decorated with the highest honor of our Church-–the Order of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, as well as bestowed with the title of National Hero of the Republic of Armenia.
We offer prayers and incense before their graves. Let us give prayers of thanks to God, that their spirit of love of nation and Church, and the example of their good works, continue to live in the souls of Armenians, as within their children, Louise Manoogian Simone and Richard Manoogian, and their grandchildren, who today bring their important contribution to the vibrancy of our Church, and the progress and development of our homeland.
Today our souls are joyful, for the earthly remains of the praiseworthy children of our Church and great national benefactors, with the agreement of their son and daughter, have arrived in the homeland from the United States, to be placed in our spiritual and cherished center, under the divine blessings of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Offering our prayers to our Lord in heaven, we will commit the remains of Alex and Marie Manoogian of blessed memory to our native soil, with the belief that their piety and devotion will always remain alive in the life of our people, and their noble acts will live as testimonies to their faithful spirit, continuing to plant new seeds of endless dedication and unceasing vigilance in the hearts of a new generation for all that is holy for our Church, homeland and nation.
We pray that our Merciful and Philanthropic God keep in blissful peace the souls of His loyal servants who are at rest in the heights of heaven on the peaceful shore of eternal life, and bless their and our vision for the joyful unified life of homeland and people.
May Grace and Love be with us and with all. Remember Lord, the souls of our blessed benefactors, Alex and Marie Manoogian, and give them rest in the light of Your divine presence. Amen.
Press Release courtesy the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org