300th Anniversary of Mekhitarist Order Marked in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The convention dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Mekhitarist Order began on Wednesday–November 22 at the auditorium of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. The convention is also dedicated to the unification of the Vienna and Venice Orders which ocurred this past year.

Catholicos Karekin II was present at the opening of the convention–along with presidential advisor Razmik Davoyan who read President Kocharian’s address. The Holy See’s ambassador to Armenia also attended the opening.

The Mekhitarist Order was established in 1700 by Mekhitar of Sebastia. The Order has printed the ‘Pazmaveb’ monthly since 1800 in Venice. The second largest collection of Armenian man’scripts (after Matenadaran) is found in the Venice and Vienna centers.

In the 1800s–the Order was officially recognized an academy by a decree issued by Napoleon. Out of the numerous Armenian and non-Armenian academics belonging to the Mekhitarian Academy–Victor Hambartsoumian is the only one from Armeia.

The main goal of the Order since the Genocide has been educationally-oriented. For this reason–fifty-two schools were opened throughout the Diaspora.

A simutaneous exhibition–displaying 300 publications of the Orders of Vienna and Venice–opened at the Yerevan National Library on November 21.

Events marking the 300th anniversary of the Mekhitarist Order have been planned around the world–including a concert which was held in Lebanon on November 17 with about 1,500 Armenia’s and non-Armenia’s attending.

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