of the Great House of Cilicia
Holy See of Cilicia
ClassificationOriental Orthodox
PrimateCatholicos Aram I
HeadquartersAntelias, Lebanon
Previously Sis, Turkey
PossessionsMiddle East, Europe, North America, South America, Oceania, and Africa.
FounderThe Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus
IndependenceApostolic Era
Recognitionby Armenian Apostolic Church as an autocephalous church
Official websiteArmenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia

The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia (Armenian: Կաթողիկոսութիւն Հայոց Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիոյ) is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church.[2] Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia has been headquartered in Antelias, Lebanon. Aram I is the Catholicos of Cilicia since 1995.

Great House of Cilicia eras

Main article: List of Armenian Catholicoi of Cilicia

Early history of the Armenian Church

The origin of the Armenian Church dates back to the Apostolic age and according to the ancient tradition was established by St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. In 301 AD, Christianity was officially accepted by the Armenians as the state religion.[3]

Catholicosate in Sis (1293–1930)

The city of Sis (modern-day Kozan, Adana, Turkey) was the center of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia for more than six centuries, starting in 1293 when the Catholicosate moved from Hromgla to Sis. The monastery of St. Sophia of Sis, home of the Catholicosate, dominates the town in early 20th-century photographs. During the Armenian genocide, in 1915, the Armenian population in Cilicia was mostly destroyed.[4]

Two Catholicosates starting in 1441 AD

In 1441, a new Catholicos of All Armenians was elected in Holy Etchmiadzin in the person of Kirakos I Virapetsi of Armenia. At the same time the retiring Catholicos in Sis Gregory IX Mousabegian (1439–1446) remained as the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Therefore, since 1441, there have been two Catholicosates in the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Catholicos of All Armenians resides in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon (1930–present)

The chair of the Armenian Catholicosate in Sis (today Kozan)

In 1922 the American Committee for Relief in the Near East established an orphanage in Antilias for survivors of the genocide. It continued operating until 1928. After the foundation's Executive Committee was petitioned in 1929 by Sahak II, in 1930 the now-vacant buildings of the orphanage were leased to the Cilicia Catholicosate for a period of five years to be used as a seat for the Catholicosate and a seminary for training priests and teachers. The foundation also agreed to contribute $6000-$7000 yearly towards running costs.[5]



Main article: Hask (periodical)

The Catholicossate has its own publishing house and has a number of publications, most notably the monthly "Hask" (in Armenian Հասկ), the official organ of the Holy See of Cilicia.

Hask Armenological Review

Main article: Hask Armenological Review

It also publishes the annual "Hask Armenological Review" (in Armenian Հասկ Հայագիտական Հանդէս) on Armenian studies

Dioceses of the Holy See of Cilicia

Current Dioceses

Former Dioceses as of 1915

See also


  1. ^ Mekaelian, M. (2018, September 24). The Necessity of Preserving Western Armenian. The Armenian Weekly.
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions on the Cilician See of the Armenian Apostolic Church / Georgy S Thomas". Malankara Orthodox TV. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  3. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (October 3, 2013). "Armenian Church, Survivor of the Ages, Faces Modern Hurdles" – via
  4. ^ "Documents 119-129. Bryce. Armenians. XV---Cicilia (Vilayet of Adan and Sankjak of Marash)".
  5. ^ Anon, "The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia", Boston 1948.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]

Further reading