The Armenian Catholic Eparchy Of Aleppo
The first official Armenian Catholic Prelate of the Armenians of Aleppo was the Bishop Abraham Ardzivian (1710 - 1740) who was born in Aintab on 12-04-1674. In 1710, he was consecrated Bishop and was ordained Prelate of Aleppo by the Patriarch Ghougas of Sis in the Forty Martyrs church of Aleppo. In 1740, he was elected successor of the Patriarch Ghougas and in 1742 he was appointed Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia by Benedict XV. He died on 01-10-1749 and was interred in St. Savor church of Kreim in Lebanon.
The second Prelate was the Monk Hagop Yousoufian (1740 -1753) who was born in Aleppo in 1689. On June 5, 1720, he was ordained priest by the Bishop Abraham. In 1740, he was consecrated assistant Bishop by the same person. He became the chief of the Eparchy from 1742 till 1749. After the Catholicos Ardzivian's death, he was elected Catholicos - Patriarch on October 14, 1749. The Seat of the Bishopric of Aleppo remained unoccupied for three years under the direction of the Patriarch Hagop.
The third Prelate was the Bishop Michael Kasparian from Peria (1753-1789), who was ordained Bishop in 1753 and the same year he was consecrated Patriarch in Bzommar.
After the Patriarch Michael Kasparian's consecration, the Seat of the Eparchy of Peria remained unoccupied for 26 years. The Eparchy was managed by the Patriarchal Vicars. Among them, the most famous was the monk Hovsep Balitian.
The forth Prelate was from Peria and from the clergy of Bzommar, the monk Kapriel Ghadroul - Avkadian (1780-1810) who was ordained in 1780 and he died on November 17 , 1810.
The fifth Prelate was a cenobite of Bzommar, the monk Kapriel Khoudeyd from Peria, born in Aleppo on 17-05-1772. He was consecrated Bishop on January 10, 1823.
The sixth Prelate was a cenobite of Bzommar, the monk Abraham Kupelian from Peria (1823-1832). He came to the Episcopal throne on July 20, 1823 and died on July 15, 1832. By his death, the Seat of the Eparchy of Aleppo remained unoccupied for six years.
The seventh Prelate was the cenobite of Bzommar from Peria, the Monk Parsegh Ayvazian (1838-1860). His Episcopal consecration took place on February 4, 1838 and he died on January 12, 1860.
The eighth Prelate was from Peria, the monk Krikor Balitian (1861-1897). He was born in Aleppo on 28-12-1815. His Episcopacy lasted from Febuary 2, 1861 till December 26, 1897.
The ninth Prelate of the Armenian Catholics of Aleppo was His Excellency Archbishop Avedis Turkian (1899-1900). He was born in the region of Beit el Din of Lebanon on 24-07-1845. At first, he was the Archbishop of Marash since October 16, 1891. He was elected Archbishop of the Eparchy of Aleppo and took charge of the prelacy on March 2, 1899. At the same date, the Eparchy became an archiepiscopal Eparchy and all the Prelates received the title of Archbishop. His prelacy did not last long. He died on August 20, 1900 at 55 years old.
The tenth Prelate was His Excellency Archbishop Okosdinos Sayeghian (1901-1926). He was born in Aleppo on 27-01-1863. He came to the prelacy throne on December 2, 1901 and died on October 1, 1926 at 66 years old. By his death, the Prelacy Seat remained unoccupied for two years. The monk Krikor Hindié managed the Patriarchal Curacy.
The eleventh Prelate was His Excellency Kevork Kortikian (1928-1933). He was born in Aleppo on April 23, 1872. He was consecrated Archbishop on February 28, 1928 and died on August 1, 1933 at 61 years old.
The twelfth Prelate was His Excellency Archbishop Krikor Hindié (1933-1952). He was born in Aleppo on February 2, 1891. He was consecrated Archbishop on November 29, 1933. He resigned in 1952. He stayed in the Armenian hospice St. Vlas in Rome till his death in 1962, and he was interred in Rome.
The thirteenth Prelate was His Excellency Archbishop Alokios Batanian (1952-1959). He was born in Mardin on February 15, 1899. He was the Patriarchal vicar of the Eparchy of Beirut when the Holy Father Pios XII appointed him Prelate of Aleppo on December 6, 1952. After seven years, he was elected General Patriarchal Vicar of Krikor-Bedros XV Aghadjanian and abandoned the Eparchy of Aleppo in 1959. In 1962, he was elected Catholicos-Patriarch in the place of Cardinal Aghadjanian who resigned from the patriarchate. In 1974, he resigned at 75 years old and died in Rome on October 6, 1979.
The fourteenth Prelate was Archbishop Kevork Layetian (1959-1983),a cenobite of Bzommar. He was born in Aleppo on April 3, 1922. He was consecrated Archbishop of Aleppo on October 25, 1959. He died on April 15, 1983 at 61 years old. Till the election of a new Prelate, His Excellency Bishop Antreas Bedoghlian, the Patriarchal vicar of Beirut became the Patriarchal conductor of the Eparchy of Aleppo till 1984.
The fifteenth Prelate was His Excellency Archbishop Hovsep Basmadjian (1984-1988), a cenobite of Bzommar. He was born in Aleppo on 15-09-1920. He was consecrated Archbishop on September 23, 1984. He died on December 11, 1988 at 68 years old.
The sixteenth Prelate was His Excellency Archbishop Bedros Miriatian. He was born in Aleppo on 26-02-1948 and was ordained diocesan monk on July 4, 1971. After the death of the Archbishop Basmadjian, he was appointed Patriarchal Vicar. He was elected Prelate of the Eparchy of Aleppo and he was consecrated Archbishop on February 4, 1990.
At present, the number of the Catholic believers of the Eparchy of Aleppo is approximately 17000.
The Eparchy is composed of six parishes and the parish priests were the following:
A. the parish priest of the Cathedral Our Lady of Pity in Tillel: the Father Haïg Maguarian. He was born in Aleppo in 1972. He was consecrated priest in Aleppo on 24-12-1998.
B. the parish priest of St. Savor - St. Barbara church in Souleymanié: His Eminence Father Kevork Chahbazian. He was born in Aleppo on 27-09-1945. He was consecrated priest on 16-07-1972. The Father Mekhitar Boghossian is also a parish priest who was born in Aleppo on 19.10.1957. He was consecrated priest on 29.07.1984.
C. the parish priest of St. Trinity church in Meydane: the Father Varoujan - Hovhannes Tashdjian. He was born in Aleppo on 17-11-1943; he was consecrated priest on 16-08-1981. His assistant was the deacon brother Zareh Der-Sarkissian.
D. the parish priest of Holy Cross church in the Ourouba quarter: the Father Nerses Zabbarian who was born in Aleppo in 1969. He was consecrated priest on 31.10.1999.
E. the parish priest of the Annunciation church in Djebel - Saidé quarter: the priest Gomidas Dadaghlian. He was born in Aleppo on 16-02-1951. He was consecrated a married priest in Aleppo on 10-09-1995.
F.the Holy Martyrs church of Rakka city without a permanent parish priest.
The Churches are:
A. the Cathedral Our Lady of Pity, Tillel street, Aleppo. Its inauguration took place in 1840 and was restored the last time in 1990.
B. St. Savor - St. Barbara church in Souleymanié quarter, Aleppo. It was the chapel of the Jesuit Fathers in 1925, then in 1937, it became a church. In 1943, the church had a front built of stone and it was restored the last time in 1999.
C.St.Trinity church, built in Meydane quarter of Aleppo. The consecration of the church took place on June 13, 1965, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and was restored in 1990. Its structure resembles to the one of Zvartnots and it is the work of the architect Pascal Baboudjian.
D. Holy Cross church, in Ourouba quarter of Aleppo. The consecration of the church took place in April 24, 1993. It is the work of the architect Sarkis Balmanouguian.
E. the Annunciation church Djebel- Saidé /in Sheikh Maksoud street, Aleppo. It was built in 1942, holding the name of the Immaculate Conception. It was rebuilt in 2000 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation.
F. Holy Resurrection church- chapel, in the cemetery of Sheikh Maksoud quarter, built in 1934.
G. Our Lady of the Assumption, in Baghdjaghaz (Kessab region) built in the days of the Franciscan Fathers in 1890. It was restored in 1991 and 2003.
H. Holy Martyrs church. The consecration took place in 1978 in Rakka. It is the work of the architect Pascal Paboudjian.
I. the church of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Congregation convent, in addition to the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Nareg, of the small house for novices related to the convent, Djebel el Nahr , Aleppo.
J. the church of St. Vartanantz convent, which was built in 1935 by the Jesuit Fathers. At present, it is disposed for the Spiritual Orders of the house for novices of Our Lady of Bzommar. Meydane - Aleppo.
K. the chapel of the Mekhitarist Fathers College, built in 1967 Achrafieh - Aleppo.
L. the chapel of the Armenian Sisters' Zvartnots College, built in 1965. Meydane - Aleppo.
Convents and Seminaries:
1.The convent of the Immaculate Conception Sisters (Djebel el Nahr, Azizié-Aleppo).
2.The convent of the Immaculate Conception Sisters (Meydane - Aleppo).
3.The convent of the Mekhitarist Fathers, Achrafieh - Aleppo.
4.House for novices of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Azizié - Aleppo.
5.Armenian Catholic small seminary Our Lady of Bzommar, Meydane - Aleppo.
The Organizations Inside The Eparchy:
1.St. Rita ladies' confraternity, Cathedral, Tillel.
2.St. Anthony of Padova ladies' confraternity - Cathedral, Tillel.
3.Sacred Heart confraternity - St. Savor - St. Barbara church, Souleymanié.
4.Our Lady of Mount Carmel ladies' confraternity - St. Barbara church, Souleymanié.
5.St. Barbara ladies' confraternity - St. Barbara church, Souleymanié.
6.Sacred Heart ladies' confraternity - St. Trinity church, Meydane.
7.The association of the Armenian Catholic Youth - St. Trinity church, Meydane - Aleppo.
8.The association of the Armenian Catholic adolescents - St. Trinity church, Meydane - Aleppo.
9.Immaculate Conception confraternity - Holy Cross church.
10.St. Rita confraternity - Holy Cross church.
11.Legion of Mary ladies' confraternity - Bishopric - Tillel.
12.Our Lady of the Youth confraternity - Bishopric - Tillel.
13."Faith and Light" handicapped people's confraternity, "Love Family" Bishopric - Tillel.
14.Our Lady teams' confraternity, Bishopric - Tillel.
15.Our Lady of Peace confraternity, with the participation of the Catholic communities.
16."Faith and Light" handicapped people's confraternity (Zvartnots Family) St. Barbara church, Souleymanié.
17.Holy Spirit confraternity, charismatic revival - St. Barbara church, Souleymanié.
18.Holy Cross scout group, Holy Cross church.
19.Our Lady Ladies' association- church of the Annunciation Djebel - Saidé.
1.St. Gregory the Illuminator - "Al -Imane" mixed college (from kindergarten till Baccalaureate).
2.Immaculate Conception "Zanabek" college for girls (from kindergarten till fourth year of secondary school).
3.Mekhitarist Fathers mixed College (From Kindergarten till fourth year of secondary school).
4."Zvartnots" College (Sayedet el Farah) under the direction of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception congregation. From Kindergarten till Fourth year of secondary school, with mixed students.
5.Martyrs' kindergarten (Raoudat el Chouhada) mixed, Rakka.
The Artistic Organizations Inside The Eparchy:
1.Gomidas choir, Cathedral.
2.Alemchah choir, St. Trinity church.
3.St. Savor choir , St. Savor - Barbara church.
4.Chnorhali choir, Holy Cross church.
5.St. Barbara choir, St. Barbara church.
6.St. Rita choir, Cathedral.
7.St. Anthony of Padova choir, Cathedral.
8.Toumanian theater group, St. Trinity church.
9.Faithful Ladies' comity - Bishopric.
10.St. Trinity church Ladies' association.
11.Holy Cross church Ladies' association.
12.Church of the Annunciation choir.
13.Mekhitarist cultural association.
14.The "Gospel speech" spiritual theater group, Bishopric.
15."Giraïr" dancing group, Cathedral.
16.Yegmalian choir, Bishopric.
17.Armenian courses, in the parish St. Barbara.
18.Cooking course, St. Trinity church.
19.Auxiliary courses of Baccalaureate and fourth year of secondary school, St. Barbara church.
The Benevolent Organizations:
1.The Armenian old people's home - by the guidance of the three Armenian denominations, Bustan -Pacha, Aleppo.
2.The "Arevig" center - Armenian handicapped children's school, under the auspices of the three Armenian denominations, Bustan-Pacha, Aleppo.
3.The Girls' Orphanage of the Providence. Under the care of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Djebel el Nahr, Aleppo.
4.The Benevolent Dispensary under the supervision of the three Armenian, Syriac and Maronite Catholic communities, Nayyal quarter, Aleppo.
5.The Charitable association- Bishopric.
6.The Benevolent comity of St. Trinity church, Meydane.
7.The Convalescence center of Baghdjaghaz (Kessab).
8.The Residence and work opportunity and loan comity.
9.The Cemetery decoration comity.
10.The Properties and construction comity.
11.Jinichian memory enterprise - with the participation of the three Armenian communities, Souleymanié, Aleppo.
12.Karagueuzian institution and the Anonymous Benefactor enterprise, with the participation of the three Armenian communities, Souleymanié, Aleppo.
13.The Caritas center- church of the Annunciation.
1.Periodical of the Armenian Catholic Bishopric. Since 1953, 2000 copies in Arabic (3 numbers in a year).
2.Annual Bulletin of the Armenian Catholic charitable association in Arabic.
3.Annual Bulletin of the benevolent comity in Armenian.
4.Calendar of the benevolent comity in Armenian.
5.Calendar of Holy Cross church in Arabic and Armenian.
6.Calendar of the Immaculate Conception Confraternity.
7.Calendar of the Sacred Heart confraternity.
8.Pastoral leaf in Arabic each Sunday (1500 copies).