Diocese of Aleppo
Diocese of Aleppo << Diocese of Aleppo

     The book of the Armenian Prelacy Diocese of Aleppo consists of 60 Metropolitans, the first was Archbishop Hovagim Periatsy (1432-1442) and the last one Archbishop Souren Kataroyan (from 1977 to 2004) .Consequently, this long period which is almost six hundred years, certainly it is supposed to have continuous and active existence of National, ecclesiastical, religious, educational, cultural, charitable and sports life.

     Although, the Armenians have been on the Syrian territories from the past times, but they have started to know Jerusalem and pay visit to its Holy Places at the end of fifth century and in the beginning of the seventh century the pilgrims have passed from historical Aleppo or Peria City by traveling from Armenia to Palestine for pilgrimage. For the Armenian Pilgrims Aleppo has been the start of a spiritual place. Later, it has become national-ecclesiastic lively station till it was transferred to an independent Diocese .

     In such circumstances ,the Hokedoun(house) of historical  Jerusalem, which was built in Aleppo in  1624 could be considered as a lively evidence of St.Hagopa , monastry  "House" or " Hotel" for the faithful travelers from The Near-East towards Jerusalem.
    On the other hand, the National-Ecclesiastic situation as well as the city's geographical commercial important position in Armenian Aleppo colony have  been helpful to Cilician Armenians to make relationships with Aleppo soon these relationships  were resultant and in the first half of the fourteenth Century, Aleppo has become an Armenian prosperous centre. The first Armenian ratification about this small colony in Aleppo, in 1355 is considered a churchman  called Hovhannes It is mentioned and written by himself in the memorial of the Holy Bible, It is believed that he was the clergyman who has pastured and conducted the Armenian colony in Aleppo.

     Although, it is not mentioned any metropolitan's name in the national interior memorials in Aleppo or the Armenian Prelacy Diocese of Aleppo in 1350s, but however it was obvious and visible that Aleppo  which has many Christian Communities , the Armenian Community too must need its own Metropolitan.

     That was proved in 1438 when Archbishop Hovagim has  mentioned as the metropolitan of Diocese of Aleppo. Meantime, St.Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic church is mentioned in 1429,as well as  St. Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church in 1476,which exists in the same churchyard. In this churchyard it has built "The Royal Palace" in other words, The prelacy which was described for the first time   by Simeon Lehiatsi.
    This prelacy has built in 1499-1500 by  charity of a well-known person in the colony called Erayis Baron Yesayi. In the last quarter of the sixteenth century the Prelacy expanded and  it has also served as a temporary chair for Catholicos’ of Sis Under its patronage has flourished the famous school-room, this was an actual and essential school for Art and Science  in the sixteenth and seventeenth Centuries

     Hereafter, the frequent memorials and reparation (renovation) of the prelacy also could be considered to  The  Diocese and to Armenian Aleppo colony a lively denominations. It is remarkable ,that the Diocese has lived praiseworthy days in the seventeenth century where the role of Tchoughayetsy people has  mentioned.

     In the Second half of the Nineteenth Century, new encouragement was spread in the National-ecclesiastic life of the colony, and it was determined  Diocese of Aleppo the Armenian National Administration's activity. To shape according to the National constitutional dispositions. Above all,  Diocese of Syria Catholicosate of  Sis have been reorganized in Aleppo City and Antioch, in 1864. The Diocese of Antioch which has  consisted of Beylan, Swedya, Yakoubiye, Ghnemiye, Kesab has converted and related to The  Diocese of Aleppo, in 1867.

     In 1875,the days (period) of the prelacy's Vicar Supreme Vartabed Hagop Arslanian (1872-1876).For the first time,  regional common or general assembly has   organized which  in its turn has elected the religious and political assemblies.
     From the ancient times, the chair(seat) of the Armenian Diocese has been in Aleppo city, whereas  the regions’ organization has passed by many stages connected with the spread of The Armenians on Syrian lands exposed to great changes especially the next days of the Armenian  GENOCIDE (1915). Finally, by joining and annexing Alexandreti Sanjak to Turkey in 1939.

     Twenty-eight villages have been members to the Diocese ,in 1914,when the population has estimated 8500 Armenians, while the people of Diocese has estimated more than 70,000 during 1919-1920.

     Meanwhile, Diocese of Aleppo has split in two parts in 1932,by decision of the second Bishopal assembly of Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia .The previous or former members to Diocese of Aleppo , Alexandrate ,Antioch ,Suediye-kesab regions have been joined to Diocese of Latakia ,this reorganized Diocese has  called Diocese of Antioch. Whereas, the former members of Diocese Homs, Hama and Salamiye regions have annexed to Diocese of Damascus. Diocese of Aleppo has  extended and enlarged including or containing the entire Northern Syria as well as the Valley areas of Euphrates River.

    The region of Latakia-Kesab  has  attached to the Diocese of Aleppo in 1939, by the decision of the seventh Bishop assembly of Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia.So, the Diocese has consisted from the following regions: Qamshly, Derik(Melkiye),Tel keotchek, Derbesia, Amouda, Ayn Diwar,Hasaka, Tel Abiad, Ayn Arous, Tel Brak, Bub, Munbouj, Garablous, Ayn Arab, Ras Oul Ayn , Der Zor, Rakka, Yakoubiye,Gesr, Latakia, Kesab, Aramo, Ghnemiye and Meydan Ekhbez.

     The  unanimous assembly of Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in 1941, paved the way for the Diocese's suggestion which decided to establish the replacement of the Armenian Prelacy of Gezire which has a achieved in 1942.

    Nowadays, the members of Diocese are ,Aleppo (seat) Gezire's replacement Prelacy which includes Qamshly, Derik(Melkiye),Ras Oul Ayn and Hasaka .In addition to Der Zor, Rakka, Tel Abiad, Yakoubiye, Tartous, Banias, Latakia, Kesab, Ghnemiye and Aramo. The peoples of Diocese are almost estimated 65-70,000 Armenians.

     National, ecclesiastical, educational, cultural, charitable and Constructional multifarious and   various efforts and works have been spread all over the Diocese .The National Prelacy, Diocese of Aleppo which has established during the hard times, today it continues its unique mission, being full of energy more then anytime, keeping the Diocese as on
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