THE ARMENIAN
MEKHITARIST CONGREGATION
www.mekhitar.org
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OUR MISSION
 

Congregation meets the spiritual needs of the Armenian communities, as well as the task of granting a proper formation, through some parishes, religious mansions and formative centres in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Hungary, France, USA, Argentina.


Mekhitar of Sebastia

Congregation meets the spiritual needs of the Armenian communities, as well as the task of granting a proper formation, through some parishes, religious mansions and formative centres in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Hungary, France, USA, Argentina.
Congregation meets the spiritual needs of the Armenian communities, as well as the task of granting a proper formation, through some parishes, religious mansions and formative centres in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Hungary, France, USA, Argentina.
Congregation meets the spiritual needs of the Armenian communities, as well as the task of granting a proper formation, through some parishes, religious mansions and formative centres in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Hungary, France, USA, Argentina.





A brief synthesis about the identity and pecular charisms of the order



Mekhitar, the founder of the Order, modelled his new Congregation around the Rule of saint Benedict, thus organizing it following the example of Western regular Orders but preserving some elements – especially in the field of discipline – of the Armenian tradition, notably the figure of the vardapet, an authoritative monk-preacher.

He impressed on the members of the Order the peculiar aim to be apostles serving the Armenian people, promoting its human development on the spiritual level as well as the cultural one.



Coat-of-arms of the Mekhitarist Congregation (San Lazzaro – Monumental Library).


In practical terms, in its three centuries of history the Order has contributed to back and promote spirituality, Armenian arts and sciences through active study, the education of the young, and sustaining scientific research at a high level.

According to the Constitution of the Congregation, its main aims, which stem from the Order’s peculiar charismas, are:

I) to teach and spread the Gospel’s doctrine,

II) a pastoral activity for the sake of saving the believers’ souls,

III) to give a christian education to the youth,

IV) the unity of christian confessions, pursued by the founder with an ante litteram ecumenical methodology.

The coat-of-arms of the Congregation is also telling. It is made of a shield occupied by a cross, within whose limbs there are the initials, written in Armenian letters, of the sentence: Vordegir Kusin Vardapet Apashkharutian (Son-in-law / of the Virgin / Master / of Penitence).

In the four fields there are four objects, which symbolize the monastic spiritual journey that is typical of the life of the apostle: a flame, a bell, the stick of the vardapet and an open book, because the true mekhitarist monk keeps alive in his heart the flame of divine love and, when requested to obey, he eagerly runs to accomplish his mission to preach with authority the Gospel of Jesus.

To stress the total dedition to such priorities, the traditional three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are completed by a fourth one, consisting in a promise made by each monk to accept to be sent as a missionary «even though this may imply to shed his own blood».

The Congregation accomplished its spiritual and cultural mission to such extent, that the Armenian renaissance between 1700 and 1800 was largely due to its invigorating impulse.

Following the priorities that the founder impressed to the Congregation, the Mekhitarists devote themselves to an intense pastoral and educational activity, meeting the Armenians’ needs of spiritual assistance through parishes, religious mansions, and colleges.

The conviction that the renaissance of the Armenian nation could be achieved only through pastoral activity and the education of the young led to the opening of pastoral centres and schools since the early days of the Order.

This network spread whenever there were Armenian communities, and changed according to their migrations and shifting fortunes. In their history, the Mekhitarists founded a hundred educational and pastoral centres in Armenia proper, and then in Georgia, AsiaMinor, Egypt, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Jugoslavia, Crimea, Austria, Italy, France, Greece, England, Persia, India, USA. The first Mekhitarist school was established in 1746 – when Mekhitar was still alive – in Transylvania, in the town of Bashbalov.

The Armenian College Moorat Raphaël of Venice is perhaps the most famous institution.

Today, the Congregation meets the spiritual needs of the Armenian communities, as well as the task of granting a proper formation, through some parishes, religious mansions and formative centres in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Hungary, France, USA, Argentina.




The Island of San Lazzaro ??? from NW in ivening ???


Home | History | About Armenia | Armenians in Italy | The island of San Lazzaro | The monastery of Vienna | Education centres | News and Events | Liturgical calendar | Worship and Spiritual Life | Library | Chronologies | Gallery | Last updates | New projects