E-Newsletter Archive stmaryaac.org

March 3

  No: 9/2023

St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church 
Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
Address: 4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 
Tel: 202-363-1923

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

This third Sunday of Great Lent takes its lesson from the "Parable of the Prodigal Son"-arguably the most concise, profound, and beautiful of our Lord's statements on the nature of God's love. 

In a story of fewer than 600 words (related in Luke 15:11-32), Jesus depicts the follies of our fallen nature, the shame and self-loathing that lie at the heart of human vice, the tender love that can heal a fractured world, and the price such love exacts. And these grand ideas are all conveyed through characters one might find in an ordinary domestic comedy: "There once was a man who had two sons..."


Like all great works of storytelling, this parable invites the reader to approach it at different times in his or her life as a child, an adult, a sibling, or a parent to experience it anew and to discover new rewards, and new wisdom, with each encounter.

This Sunday in the church is the perfect opportunity to have that encounter, and perhaps to engage in the self-examination that is one hallmark of the Lenten season.

Join us in person or on our YouTube channel for our 2023 Lenten Series Spiritual Journey Toward Easter on Lenten Wednesday at 7:00 pm

To see the 2023 Lenten Series flyer Click Here. 

March 5, 2023


Morning Service 

10:00 AM

Holy Badarak 

10:30 AM


Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan 


Ms.Sara Arabian

Parish Council Members on Duty

Mrs. Shoghig Sahakyan


Mrs.Edita Kalayjian


Mrs. Karine Muradyan

Bible Readings: 

Isaiah 54.11-55.13

2 Corinthians 6.1-7.1

Luke 15: 1-32

To request a Hokehankist/Requiem Service 

Please contact the Church Office

by 12:00 Noon on Thursday


or Click here to see the form

Prayer of the Week

Lord, please keep watch over your faithful people, and protect the holy soil of Artsakh and Armenia—now and always. Foil every aggressor against our homeland. Defend the innocent and voiceless, Lord. Console all those who grieve, and remember those who sacrificed their very lives in your Name. Deliver your faithful children from conflict, and bestow your peace on all mankind.

    Accept with sweetness, almighty Lord, my bitter prayers. Look with pity upon my mournful face. Dispel, all-bestowing God, my shameful sadness. Lift, merciful God, my unbearable burden. For you are glorified by all creation, forever and ever. Amen.


Please tune in to St. Mary YouTube channel for the upcoming services and Badaraks
Click Here to Access St. Mary YouTube Channel
Click Here to Access St. Mary Facebook Page

ACYOA Juniors Lenten Good Deed

The ACYOA Juniors teen youth group met, after Sunday badarak, to make sack lunches for those in need.  The teens filed up 100 lunch bags with sandwiches, fruit, snacks, and cookies. The Small Things Matterhttps://smallthingsmatter.org/ ) non-profit organization was happy to receive the sack lunches and will distribute them.  Thank you to all the parents and teens who made the project a success.  A special thank you to Greg and Katie Kumkumian who organized the event!

Click here to view photos 

A Visit to Wesley Theological Seminary

On Saturday, February 25, St. Mary Women's Guild and friends made a trip to nearby Wesley Theological Seminary to view artwork by our own member Cathy Kapikian. Cathy was commissioned by the seminary to create a 3-D rendition of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper in the seminary's refectory (eating area). As a beautiful snowfall was seen outside the refectory's glass wall, Cathy explained her faith and her creative process to the thirty-three attendees. Everyone was truly awed by the colorful, modern take of The Last Supper that Cathy created, using the mathematical Fibonacci sequence to create curved rays coming off of Christ and the disciples. (Fibonacci sequences can be seen in nature in, for instance, the shell of a nautilus.) It was an experience no one who attended will soon forget. We are very grateful to Cathy and to the seminary for affording us this wonderful opportunity.  

Click here to view photos

Lenten Period Begins 

According to the liturgical calendar of the Armenian Church, the Lenten season has begun on Monday, February 19. This year, at St. Mary, Lenten Services and Discussions will occur every Wednesday. The year's theme is "The Holy Sacraments of the Church and their meaning." We will learn about the Holy Sacraments of the Church and their very real implications on our daily lives. A sacrament is a rite that not only signifies some specific grace but also produces that grace in the soul of the person to whom it is administered. Although everything within the Church is sacramental, there are seven formal sacraments of the Armenian Church which correspond to the different states and situations of a person's life.

The second of the six-week series took place on Wednesday, March 1st. Mark Krikorian spoke about the Sacrament of Penance. He presented its history and relevance to our lives today. Through the Sacrament of Penance, forgiveness is granted to the penitent, and special strength is given to overcome temptations and lead a God-pleasing life. The works of penance act like medicine. Not only do they cure sins but also weaken the power of evil tendencies, and renew the strength of the soul.

Toward the end of the service and presentation, the parishioners enjoyed fellowship with each other and dinner hosted by the Women's Guild.

click here to see the flyer in full size 
click here to see the flyer in full size 
click here to see the flyer in full size 
click here to see the flyer in full size 
click here to see the flyer in full size

Special Gift for St. Mary Gift Shop

St. Mary gift shop is offering limited numbers of imported bottles of medieval Armenian health elixirs formulated from ancient manuscripts deciphered at the Matendaran Museum of Ancient Armenian Manuscripts. These elixirs are made in Armenia by Armen Sahakyan, a pharmacologist and botanical scholar who has been working at the Matenadaran Museum for the last several decades. A trained medical doctor ordained a deacon in 1997, Sahakyan has dedicated his life to the maintenance of Armenia’s sacred botanical traditions.


The three different batches available at our gift shop (Royal Elixir, Arates Elixir and Arates Tonic) are made from a codified recipe of medieval Armenian medicine, using a special distillation process. They contain medicinal and aromatic plants, known for their healing properties. Through the distillation and aging process alcohol is created, so think of them as perhaps Armenia’s first (healthy) cognac! 


The supplies are limited and each bottle is numbered, including the batch and year of production. All of the bottles were donated to St Mary Church, so 100% of the proceeds will go to the St Mary Endowment Fund, with a portion also going to support Armenian clergy serving in Artsakh.

Click Here to Learn More
Click Here to Purchase 

"Embrace the Future" Endowment Fund

Dear Parishioners and Friends, 


This year we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the St. Mary Community and Church with the launch of the new "Embrace the Future" Endowment Fund to help ensure our church has the resources needed to continue serving our beloved community.  

Just as you plan for your future and that of your family, please join us in planning for the future of St. Mary Church. 

We are asking for your support so that St. Mary will be able to continue to fulfill her mission for future generations.  

The link below lists various opportunities for you to make a meaningful gift of lasting significance that will help support our church's long-term security, visibility, and vitality. Please consider making either a one-time gift or pledge, which would allow you to make payments over a five-year period.

Click Here to  Donate 

Join St. Mary's Prayer Group

We are initiating a new form of ministry at St. Mary Armenian Church. For parishioners who would like to make an electronic prayer request, they can do so by Clicking Here.

A group of volunteers will receive the request and pray at their earliest convenience. Additionally, a new physical prayer request box will be placed at the entrance of St. Mary Armenian Church with blank forms that anyone can fill out and drop in the box. These requests will be retrieved weekly and delivered to the members of the volunteer prayer group. If you would like to become one of the volunteers of the Prayer Group please email us. 

Please click on the link below to present your request. 

Click here to submit your request

Armenian Speaking Caregivers Available

For information please contact the church office at 202-363-1923 or  [email protected]

Part-time help needed

Rockville Town Center (a few minutes walk from the Rockville Metro stop on the Red Line), for details, contact Lilit at "Saints Valley" Boutique:   https://www.instagram.com/saintsvalley/?hl=en

St. Mary Armenian Church
Legacy Brick Drive
Honor your loved ones with
a memorial that will last a lifetime

Buy a brick and leave your legacy at St. Mary Armenian Church.
When you buy a brick, it is then engraved with your specified words or message, installed in front of the church, and becomes
a memory to view for years to come.

Laser engraved bricks will be displayed in our Church plaza,
on both sides of our beautiful Khatchkar, and can be dedicated to those
you wish to remember, honor Loved Ones, commemorate a
a special milestone like a baptism or wedding, or
acknowledge an organization or business.

Buy a Brick and Leave Your Legacy at

St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church

Bricks can be ordered and purchased by clicking below and

filling out a simple online order form.

You can choose to have a 4" x 8" brick

which includes your preselected

3 lines of 20 characters per line of text.

Or you can choose to have the

Armenian Cross artwork on the 4" x 8" brick

which includes your preselected

3 lines of 15 characters per line of text.

Order Today While Quantities Last!

Payment can be made with PayPal or a Credit Card.

Legacy Brick Donations are Tax Deductible.


Supreme Spiritual Council Convenes at Mother See

This week, the Armenian Church’s Supreme Spiritual Council met at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided over the gathering.


To begin the meeting on February 28, he blessed the council members and led them in prayer, with a special remembrance of the clergy, soldiers, and civilians martyred in the 2020 Artsakh war and in recent months, as well as prayers for the victims of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait, to mark 35 years since those atrocities.


The Supreme Spiritual Council’s agenda included discussions on the outreach ministries of the Mother See, especially in the face of current realities in Artsakh and Armenia; the final stages of the restoration of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, which is scheduled for completion next fall; plans for a ceremonial Blessing of the Holy Muron, concurrent with the latter occasion, along with a National Ecclesiastical Assembly of the worldwide church; and various canonical and national concerns of the church.


As always, participants in the Supreme Spiritual Council included eminent bishops and diocesan primates from throughout the church’s worldwide jurisdictions. In addition, Catholicos Karekin II welcomed a number of new members to the council, including new lay members and the primates of Artsakh, Damascus, Gougark, and Shirak.


Of special interest to the faithful of the Eastern Diocese of America is the fact that our own Primate, Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, is also one of the new appointees to the Supreme Spiritual Council. Though his ongoing recovery from his auto accident last summer prevented him from undertaking the journey to Armenia for this meeting, Fr. Mesrop was notified in January of his appointment to the council by the Catholicos, in a communique from Holy Etchmiadzin Chancellor Bishop Arshak Khatchatryan. He will take his seat on the council beginning with its next meeting.


Click on the following link to view photos and read more in Armenian at the Supreme Spiritual Council meeting.

2023 Diocesan Assembly in Dallas: Booklet Deadline Extended

The 121st Diocesan Assembly will convene May 4-6, 2023, at the Marriott Hotel in Plano, TX. St. Sarkis Church of Carrollton, TX, will host the Diocesan Assembly and the Clergy Conference (meeting May 2-4), bringing together hundreds of Armenian Church leaders from the Eastern Diocese. Diocesan Primate Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan will preside.


The Dallas-area church is hosting the assembly for the first time in its history. The parish was originally scheduled to host the 118th Diocesan Assembly in the spring of 2020, but that event was postponed due to the pandemic. In the intervening years, St. Sarkis completed construction and consecrated its magnificent (and award-winning) new facility, which will be the place where the 121st Assembly’s social and liturgical gatherings will go forward.


The annual awards banquet will take place in the parish’s Hall of Lights on Friday, May 5. Mr. and Mrs. Elie and Ela Akilian will be honored as this year’s “Armenian Church Members of the Year,” and architect David Hotson will receive the “Friend of the Armenians” award.


The Divine Liturgy, with the Primate celebrating, will conclude the gathering on Sunday, May 7.


The hotel for the Clergy Conference and Diocesan Assembly, the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy, is within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Online hotel reservations and online assembly registration are now open and can be accessed via St. Sarkis’ Diocesan Assembly website.


The host parish is also publishing a commemorative booklet and invites parishes, clergy, delegates, and the public to extend personal greetings on its pages. Click the link to contribute to the booklet online; please note that the deadline for inclusion has been extended to March 14.


Find additional detailed information, and links to register and reserve, by clicking here.



FAR Helps Families Struggling After War

Aram Gaptrafikov and his family are passing another hard winter in their new home in Armenia’s Sisian region. However, the Fund for Armenian Relief is helping the family to better to cope with the impacts of the Artsakh war of 2020, by providing them with their most basic necessities through a FAR project called “Support for Artsakh’s Displaced.”


Aram (age 47), his wife Ani, and their children Albert, Eva, and baby Lilit, currently live in a poorly insulated, two-room apartment. They use plastic sheets to cover the windows—to block the wind, snow, and freezing temperatures. The family fled to Sisian after their home in Artsakh was destroyed.


Originally from Jermuk (Armenia), Aram served in the army in Russia’s Ural mountains, before he moved to Artsakh. He spent a year there—and fell in love with the place. “I was around 26 when I decided to move to Artsakh and live there,” recalled Aram, a former driver in the army, who had to leave the service due to health problems. Aram and Ani then made their living through animal husbandry, selling dairy products.

“We had to flee under heavy shelling by the Azerbaijani army," said Ani. "I took our children and left the house. When they bombed the farm, the village priest took us to Sisian.”


To mitigate the family’s social and financial issues FAR is providing them with essential necessities of living—including bedding, warm blankets, furniture, kitchen appliances and kitchenware, winter clothing, as well as school supplies for Eva and Albert, who attend the local school.


Through the “Support for Artsakh’s Displaced” project, FAR will continue to help this family, while searching for a long-term solution to their housing needs. Indeed, FAR has helped more than 100 families in this way, bringing them housing solutions and emergency humanitarian assistance. Read more on FAR’s blog.


March 8, 15, 22 & 29 Lenten Service, discussion & dinner @7pm

March 5 Networking with DC young Armenians at 1:30 pm

March 12 Women's Guild Mid-Lenten/Mitchink Luncheon

March 15 Median Day of Lent

March 18 Women's Guild General meeting @ 10 am

April 2 Palm Sunday, ACYOA Day & W.G. Easter Bake Sale after Badarak

April 9 Easter Sunday, W.G. Easter Bake Sale after Badarak

March 23 Armenian Christian Art and Culture Lecture at Catholic University of America @ 5 pm

April 24 Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide

May 18 Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

May 19, 20,21 Spring Food Festival

May 28 W.G.Hampartzoom program and lunch



Application for WED Educational Fund Scholarship is now available at St. Mary's website www.stmaryaac.org. The application deadline for the 2023-2024 academic year is

May 31, 2023.

Click here to access the scholarship application. If you have questions, contact the St. Mary Church office at [email protected]


Anne Andonian, Aram Andonian, Hripsime ApkarianLucy Badalian,  Allison BajgerEllen Boudreau, Mari Dogum, Anahit Greene, Antaram Grigoryan, Susana Grigoryan, Simon Gukasyan, Karen Hatchik, Charles Hoke, Tamara Hramushina, Takvur Hubi, Jo-Anna Jacob, Edward Jamgochian, Yn. Anahid Kalayjian, Michael Kolenick, Nancy Kolenick, Jack Kooyoomjian, Queen Manoogian, Susanna Mkrtchyan, Haik Naltchayan, Armen Mark Nostrant, Hacik Ozdul, Mary Levon Panossian,Margaret Rustemian, Robert Schlee, Tamara Shatvoryan, Bob Semonian, Mihran Tavoukjian, David Tonyan


1Եւ բոլոր մաքսաւորներն ու մեղաւորները նրա մօտ էին, որպէսզի լսեն նրան: 2 Փարիսեցիներն ու օրէնսգէտները տրտնջում էին եւ ասում. «Ինչո՞ւ է նա ընդունում մեղաւորներին եւ ուտում նրանց հետ»: 3 Յիսուս նրանց այս առակն ասաց. 4 «Ձեզնից ո՞վ է այն մարդը, որ երբ հարիւր ոչխար ունենայ եւ կորցնի նրանցից մէկը, արօտավայրում չի թողնի իննսունիննին եւ չի գնայ կորածի յետեւից, մինչեւ որ այն գտնի: 5 Եւ երբ այն գտնի, կդնի այն իր ուսերի վրայ խնդութեամբ 6 եւ կգնայ տուն, կկանչի բարեկամներին ու հարեւաններին եւ նրանց կասի. ուրախացէ՛ք ինձ հետ, որովհետեւ գտայ իմ կորած ոչխարը: 7 Ասում եմ ձեզ, որ այսպէս ուրախութիւն կլինի երկնքում մի մեղաւորի համար, որն ապաշխարում է, քան իննսունինը արդարների համար, որոնց ապաշխարութիւն պէտք չէ: 8 Կամ ո՞վ է այն կինը, որ երբ տասը դրամ ունենայ եւ մի դրամ կորցնի, ճրագ չի վառի եւ չի աւլի տունը փութով ու չի փնտրի, մինչեւ որ գտնի: 9 Եւ երբ գտնի, կկանչի բարեկամներին ու հարեւաններին եւ կասի. «Ուրախացէ՛ք ինձ հետ, որովհետեւ գտայ իմ կորցրած դրամը»: 10 Ասում եմ ձեզ. Աստծոյ հրեշտակների առաջ այսպէս ուրախութիւն կլինի մէկ մեղաւորի համար, որն ապաշխարում է»: 11 Եւ ասաց. «Մի մարդ երկու որդի ունէր. 12 նրանցից կրտսերը հօրն ասաց. “Հա՛յր, տո՛ւր քո ունեցուածքից ինձ ընկնող բաժինը”: Եւ նա ունեցուածքը բաժանեց նրանց: 13 Քիչ օրեր յետոյ կրտսեր որդին, փողի վերածելով ամէն ինչ, գնաց հեռու աշխարհ եւ այնտեղ վատնեց իր ունեցուածքը, որովհետեւ անառակ կեանքով էր ապրում: 14 Եւ երբ ամէն ինչ սպառեց, այդ երկրում սաստիկ սով եղաւ, եւ նա սկսեց չքաւոր դառնալ: 15 Գնաց դիմեց այդ երկրի քաղաքացիներից մէկին, եւ սա ուղարկեց նրան իր ագարակը՝ խոզեր արածեցնելու: 16 Եւ նա ցանկանում էր իր որովայնը լցնել եղջերենու պտղով, որ խոզերն էին ուտում, բայց ոչ ոք այդ նրան չէր տալիս: 17 Ապա խելքի եկաւ եւ ասաց. “Քանի՜ վարձու աշխատաւորներ կան իմ հօր տանը, որ առատ հաց ունեն, եւ ես այստեղ սովամահ կորչում եմ: 18 Վեր կենամ գնամ իմ հօր մօտ եւ նրան ասեմ. հա՛յր, մեղանչեցի երկնքի դէմ ու քո առաջ 19 եւ այլեւս արժանի չեմ քո որդին կոչուելու, ինձ վերցրո՛ւ իբրեւ քո աշխատաւորներից մէկը”: 20 Եւ վեր կացաւ եկաւ իր հօր մօտ. եւ մինչդեռ հեռու էր, հայրը տեսաւ նրան եւ գթաց. վեր կացաւ ու վազեց նրան ընդառաջ, ընկաւ նրա պարանոցով եւ համբուրեց նրան: 21 Եւ որդին ասաց նրան. “Հա՛յր, մեղանչեցի երկնքի դէմ եւ քո առաջ, այլեւս արժանի չեմ քո որդին կոչուելու”: 22 Հայրն իր ծառաներին ասաց. “Անմիջապէս հանեցէ՛ք նրա նախկին պատմուճանը եւ հագցրէք նրան, մատանին նրա մատը դրէք եւ նրա ոտքերին՝ կօշիկներ. 23 բերէ՛ք պարարտ եզը, մորթեցէ՛ք, ուտենք եւ ուրախ լինենք, 24 որովհետեւ իմ այս որդին մեռած էր եւ կենդանացաւ, կորած էր եւ գտնուեց”. եւ սկսեցին ուրախանալ: 25 Իսկ նրա աւագ որդին ագարակում էր. եւ մինչ գալիս էր եւ տանը մօտեցաւ, լսեց երգերի եւ պարերի ձայնը. 26 եւ իր մօտ կանչելով ծառաներից մէկին՝ հարցրեց, թէ այդ ինչ է: 27 Եւ սա նրան ասաց. “Քո եղբայրը եկել է, եւ քո հայրը մորթեց պարարտ եզը, որովհետեւ ողջ-առողջ ընդունեց նրան”: 28 Նա բարկացաւ եւ չէր ուզում ներս մտնել. իսկ հայրը դուրս ելնելով աղաչում էր նրան: 29 Որդին պատասխանեց եւ ասաց հօրը. “Այս քանի՜ տարի է, որ ծառայում եմ քեզ եւ երբեք քո հրամանները զանց չեմ առել. ինձ երբեք մի ուլ չտուեցիր, որ բարեկամներիս հետ ուրախութիւն անեմ: 30 Երբ եկաւ քո այդ որդին, որը քո ունեցուածքը կերաւ պոռնիկների հետ, պարարտ եզը նրա համար մորթեցիր”: 31 Հայրը նրան ասաց. “Որդեա՛կ, դու միշտ ինձ հետ ես, եւ ամէն ինչ, որ իմն է, քոնն է. 32 բայց պէտք էր ուրախ լինել եւ ցնծալ, որովհետեւ քո այս եղբայրը մեռած էր եւ կենդանացաւ, կորած էր եւ գտնուեց”»:

Ղուկասի 15:1-32

15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”3 So he told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.8 “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with[c] the pods that the pigs were eating, and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command, yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Luke 15:1-32

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