Catholicos Vazgen I

Catholicos Vazgen I

Birth
Death 18 Aug 1994 (aged 85)
Burial Yerevan, K'aghak' Yerevan, Armenia
Plot Amongst the tombs of the Catholicoi in front of the Cathedral
Memorial ID 20764800 · View Source
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Supreme patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

He was born Levon Baljian in Bucharest, Romania to a shoemaker and a school teacher. He studied philosophy at the University of Bucharest and worked as a philosopher, publishing many scholarly articles. He then took up the study of theology in Athens and became a celibate priest. He was later made a bishop and then leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Romania. He was elected Catholicos of all Armenians in 1955, becoming one of the youngest catholicoi in the history of the church. He was instrumental in re-establishing Etchmiadzin as a religious center after decades of Soviet supression. He navigated the difficult position of religious leader in the atheistic Soviet Union, and under him the right to religious freedom in Armenia was restored. The church was still limited by Soviet authorities until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia declared independence. Catholicos Vazgen saw the birth of a new nation with his Armenian Apostolic Church as the official state religion. He celebrated by concecrating a new 'indepence' batch of holy muron oil and distributing it to Armenian churches throughout the world. Having guided Armenia through years of atheism to independence, Vazgen would reign for almost 40 years until his death in 1994, one of the longest of any Catholicos.


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  • Created by: Paul S.
  • Added: 3 Aug 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 20764800
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Catholicos Vazgen I (20 Sep 1908–18 Aug 1994), Find a Grave Memorial no. 20764800, citing Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Yerevan, K'aghak' Yerevan, Armenia ; Maintained by Paul S. (contributor 18204635) .