Mechitarist Fathers

Mechitarist Fathers

 

(Mkhitarists), a congregation of Armenian clergy founded in 1701 by the monk Mechitar of Sivas. In 1717 the congregation was transferred to the island of San Lazzaro, near Venice, where it has existed to the present. Subsequently, part of the congregation established itself in Vienna. The Mechitarist fathers contributed to the development of Armenian philology and clerical-feudal literature by publishing the works of ancient Armenian writers, research in Armenian studies, and dictionaries and by translating ancient Greek and Roman works into Old Armenian. The activity of the Mechitarist fathers essentially served to bolster the Vatican’s influence in the Near East. It has been detrimental to the social and national liberation struggle of Armenians living abroad.

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