Vazgen I

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Vazgen I

 

(given name, Levon Karapet Palchian). Born Sept. 20 (Oct. 3), 1908, in Bucharest. Catholicos of All Armenians. Born into a family of an artisan. Graduated from the department of literature and philosophy of Bucharest University in 1936.

From 1929 to 1943, Palchian taught in the Armenian schools of Bucharest. He played an important role in the rapprochement of the Armenians living abroad with Soviet Armenia. In 1955 in Echmiadzin he was elected Catholicos of All Armenians. He visited all the Armenian colonies in the world during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He wrote several valuable essays in the area of Armenian studies. In connection with his 60th birthday, he was awarded the order of the Badge of Honor in September 1968 for his patriotic activity in defense of peace. In 1968 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace.