Today is the birthday of Khrimyan Hayrig

  • by Western Armenia, April 04, 2023 in Society

Today is the birthday of Mkrtich A. Vanetsi (Khrimyan Hayrig), the 125th Catholicos of the Armenian Church, public and spiritual and cultural personality, intellectual and writer.

Born on April 4, 1820 in the city of Van in Western Armenia, he studied in the monastic schools of Lim and Ktutz centers of Vaspurakan. In 1842 he moved to Constantinople.

In 1854 he was ordained a priest. Returning to Van in June 1856, he assumed the office of Archimandrite of Varagavank with the will of the Sultan and the decision of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1857, he founded a school of spiritual heritage in the monastery.

Khrimyan Hayrig carried out energetic activities in the direction of alleviating the plight of Armenian peasants, limiting the abuses of Turkish and Kurdish aghas and state officials. The people honored Mkrtich Khrimyan with the title of “Father”. For his pro-people activities, the Turkish government considered him a politically hopeless clergyman and closed the school and printing house he had founded.

In 1868 he was consecrated bishop in Etchmiadzin, in 1869 he was elected by the National Assembly of Constantinople, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople. As Patriarch, he submitted the issues of the revision of the National Constitution, the fortune of the provincial Armenians and the election of the spiritual leaders of the provinces to the consideration of the National Assembly. He fought to represent the interests of all Armenians of Western Armenia in the National Assembly, to increase the number of provincial representatives in the National Assembly.

As the head of the Armenian delegation to the Berlin Conference in 1878, he first visited the officials of the major European powers (Italy, France, England, Germany), presented the bulletin prepared by the Patriarchate to the Berlin Assembly, hoping to resolve the Armenian question diplomatically. Disappointed with its results, he turned to the struggle for national liberation.

On September 26, 1893, he was consecrated Catholicos of all Armenians.

He invested much effort in ensuring the physical existence of the emigrants who had survived the massacres and in returning them to their homeland.