Vazgen / Vazken I
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
|Church||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|See||Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin|
|Birth name||Levon Garabed Baljian|
|Born||September 20, 1908|
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
|Died||August 18, 1994 (aged 85)|
|Buried||Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin|
Vazgen I also Vazken I of Bucharest, (Armenian : Վազգէն Ա Բուխարեստցի), born Levon Garabed Baljian (Armenian : Լևոն Կարապետ Աբրահամի Պալճյան; September 20, 1908 – August 18, 1994) was the Catholicos of All Armenians between 1955 and 1994, for a total of 39 years, the 4th longest reign in the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language that is the only language in the Armenian branch. It is the official language of Armenia as well as the de facto Republic of Artsakh. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.
The Catholicos of All Armenians is the chief bishop and spiritual leader of Armenia's national church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the worldwide Armenian diaspora. According to tradition, the apostles Saint Thaddeus and Saint Bartholomew brought Christianity to Armenia in the first century. Saint Gregory the Illuminator became the first Catholicos of All Armenians following the nation's adoption of Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD. The seat of the Catholicos, and the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church, is the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, located in the city of Vagharshapat.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. According to tradition, the church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century.
Gregory II the Martyrophile,, was the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church between 1066 and 1105.
all served 39 years as Catholicos of All Armenians or Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, behind:
1) Nerses IV the Graceful (1166–1173) -- Սուրբ Ներսէս Դ. Կլայեցի (Շնորհալի), who served 53 years as Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,
Nerses IV the Gracious was Catholicos of Armenia from 1166 to 1173. A more precise translation of his epithet Shnorhali is "filled with Grace". He received the appellation Shnorhali from his contemporaries because of the very irenic quality of his writing.
2) Constantine I of Cilicia (1221–1267) -- Կոնստանդին Ա. Բարձրբերդցի, who served 46 years as Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and
Catholicos Constantine I,, was the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church between 1221 and 1267.
3) St. Sahak I (387–428) -- Սբ. Սահակ Ա Պարթև, who served 41 years as Catholicos of All Armenians.
Isaac or Sahak of Armenia (354–439) was Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He is sometimes known as "Isaac the Great," and as "Sahak the Parthian" owing to his Parthian origin.
A native of Romania, he began his career as a philosopher, before becoming a Doctor of Theology and a member of the local Armenian clergy. The leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church hierarchy in Romania, he became Catholicos in 1955, moving to the Soviet Union and residing in the Armenian SSR. Vazgen I led the Armenian Church during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was the first Catholicos in newly independent Armenia.
Vazgen was born in Bucharest to a family belonging to the Armenian-Romanian community. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a schoolteacher. The young Levon Baljian did not initially pursue the Church as a profession, instead graduating from the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. After graduation, he became a philosopher and published a series of scholarly articles.
As his interests began to shift from philosophy to theology, Baljian studied Armenian Apostolic Theology and Divinity in Athens, Greece. He eventually gained the title of vardapet, an ecclesiastical rank for learned preachers and teachers in the Armenian Apostolic Church roughly equivalent to receiving a doctorate in theology. In the 1940s, he became a bishop, and then the arajnord (leader) of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Romania.
His rise through the hierarchy of the Church culminated in 1955 when, on September 30th 1955, he was elected Catholicos of All Armenians, becoming one of the youngest Catholicoi in the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He reigned until his death in 1994. During his long time as Catholicos, he managed to assert some independence for his church in face of the totalitarian Soviet rule in the Armenian SSR, and lived to see religious freedom restored under Armenia's national government in 1991.
From then on, he was busy renewing ancient Armenian churches and reviving institutions of the church. He saved a number of church treasures by establishing the Alex Manoogian Museum of the Mother Church. Vazgen intensified contacts with the Armenian Catholic Church, with the aim of reuniting both wings of Armenian Christianity. He died at his residence in Yerevan on August 18, 1994, after suffering from a long-illness.
Armenians have been present in what is now Romania and Moldova for over a millennium, and have been an important presence as traders since the 14th century. Numbering only in the thousands in modern times, they were culturally suppressed in the Communist era, but have undergone a cultural revival since the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
Karekin I, served as the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church between 1994 and 1999. Previously, he served as the Catholicos of Cilicia from 1983 to 1994 as Karekin II.
Gandzasar is a 13th century Armenian Apostolic cathedral near the village of Vank in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). It has historically been the region's most important church. One of the best pieces of Armenian architecture of the mid-1200s, the building is best known among scholars for its richly decorated dome.
The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is a hierarchal see of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has been headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon. Aram I is the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1995.
Karekin I was a scholar of Armenian art and Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church from 1943 to 1952.
Levon Mkrtchyan (Armenian: Լևոն Մկրտչյան; Russian: Левон Гайкович Мкртчян; born February 25, 1953 in Leninakan is an Armenian director known for his documentaries, "Davit Anhaght," "Charentz: Known and Unknown Sides", "Jean Garzu", "Mesrop Mashtots", "My Komitas", "And There Was Light", "The Manuscript of Independence" which was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of independence of Armenia, and many more. He is an award-winning director who has received the highest award of the Soviet Union, the Lenin award. He has earned numerous awards for his documentaries that have kept the Armenian spirit alive. His last prestigious award during the Golden Eagle film festival he has received for his film "The Manuscript of Independence," in the Best Documentary category. He studied in the Directing Department of the Yerevan Fine Arts and Theater Institute. In 1978, he released his debut short film The Muses. In 1984, he graduated from the Directing Department of VGIK in Moscow. Since 1978, he has shot thirty-three documentaries. He filmed and has an archive about well known Armenians, including the only film footage on Hovhannes Shiraz, footage on Charles Aznavour visiting Armenia after the 1988 earthquake, the funeral of William Saroyan. He has also been great friends and film partners with the legendary director Sergei Parajanov and has a rare footage of him, including the last days of his life.
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Megerdich I, was Catholicos of Cilicia of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church from 1871 to 1894.
Gevorkian Theological Seminary, also known as Gevorkian Seminary, is a theological university-institute of the Armenian Apostolic Church founded by Catholicos George IV in 1874. It is located in the town of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) within the complex of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia.
Khoren I Muradbekian was an Armenian Apostolic religious figure who served as Catholicos from 1932 until his murder in 1938. He previously served as locum tenens, between 1923 and 1932, in the latter years of and after the death of Catholicos Gevorg V, and bishop of Yerevan from 1910 to 1923.
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, is the governing body of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is headquartered around Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia and is the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians, the head of the church.
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|Oriental Orthodox titles|
| Catholicoi of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin and All Armenians |