ARCHBISHOP MESROP TER-MOVSISYAN (MAGISTROS)

tem logo1913-1916 (Years of Leadership)

Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan (Magistros) (baptismal name Parsadan) was born on May 7, 1865, in Shikaokh village of Tatev region. His father’s name was Vardan.

In 1882, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan graduated from the Diocesan school in Shushi,

In 1885, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan graduated from the Nersisyan Theological School of Tbilisi.  

In 1887, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan entered the Department of Classical Philology at Dorpat University and graduated with honors in 1891. From Dorpat he moved to Vienna and for a period collaborated with the magazine “Handes Amsorya” periodically published by the local clergies of Mkhitarians Brotherhood (The Mekhitarists are a monastic order of the Armenian Catholic Church founded in 1700 by Abbot Mekhitar of Sebaste. The Mekhitarists follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are best known for their series of scholarly publications of ancient Armenian versions of otherwise lost ancient Greek texts and for their research on classical and modern Armenian language).

In 1892, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan moved to Paris, but later he was invited to come and teach Armenology at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

On April 24, 1893, he was ordained as a celibate priest.

On June 21, 1893, Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was elected as one of the members of the delegation, which went to Jerusalem to accompany the newly-elected Catholicos of All Armenians, Mkrtich I Vanetsi Khrimyan (commonly known as Khrimyan Harik) to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Within a month, he received the rank of Archimandrite.

In 1895, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was appointed to administer the Diocesan schools in Yerevan and in a year, he was appointed to administer the Diocesan schools in Shushi.

In 1898, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was elected as a member of the Consistory of Shushi.

In 1902, after successfully defending his final thesis entitled “History of the Armenian translation of the Bible” Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan received his Master’s Degree in St. Petersburg.

In 1905, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan conducted successful negotiations with the Government and following this; the local authorities re-opened the Armenian schools and handed over the management to the Church.

In September 1908, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was appointed as a member of the Synod of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

In 1909, Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan accompanied the newly elected elected Catholicos of All Armenians, Mateos II Konstandopoulos Izmiryan from Constantinople to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and in October he received the rank of Senior Archimandrite.In the same year, 1909, he was consecrated as a Bishop.

It was as a result of his efforts that in 1908-1911, the Matenadaran (Matenadaran is a museum of ancient manuscripts; a repository of manuscripts and research institute) of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin was renovated, and in 1912, all manuscripts of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin were transferred to the newly renovated building.

From 1911 to 1913, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was the director at Matenadaran of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

From January 18, 1913 until the half of 1916, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan served as the Head of the Armenian Diocese in Imereti and Georgia (Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia), and from 1916 until the end of 1917, he served as the Head of the Diocese in Astrakhan.

From the autumn of 1922 until the autumn of 1931, Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan was the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Persia - India.

Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan died on June 3, 1939 in Yerevan. He was the author of more than 130 scientific articles.

In 1989, the relics of Archbishop Mesrop Ter-Movsisyan were relocated from Yerevan to Etchmiadzin and buried in the cemetery of Saint Gayane Monastery.

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