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August 19. This Day in the History of the Armenian Church

On August 18, 995 A.D. the devastating earthquake spread destruction and death in Balu and surrounding areas. Through the efforts of Catholicos Sarkis I of Sevan, the Armenian Church took an active part in rebuilding and bringing life back to the destroyed towns and villages. During this time, he also built a new church in Ani and dedicated it to St. Hripsime. The relics of St. Hripsime were moved there and annual celebration of the Saint was established in Ani modeled after the festive celebrations of Holy Etchmiadzin. The history does not tell us where the relics of St. Hripsime were moved from to Ani, with some suggesting they were brought there from Holy Etchmiadzin, while others thinking these could be newly discovered relics.

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