BEIRUT (CNS) — Armenian Catholic Patriarch Gregoire Pierre XX Gabroyan died in Beirut May 25.
The 86-year-old had served as patriarch since 2015.
Patriarch Gabroyan “was a great leader, a servant-hearted leader, wise and realistic,” said Serop Ohanian, Lebanon field director for the Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corp., which has served socially and economically vulnerable Armenian communities for 100 years.
“He was always close to the people, visiting the sick and the destitute, providing the necessary and needed support to them,” Ohanian told Catholic News Service. “It is a great loss to our community.”
The Middle East Council of Churches said Patriarch Gabroyan was “a most prominent supporter of the ecumenical movement and the MECC.”
A funeral Mass will be May 29 at the Cathedral of St. Elias and St. Gregory the Illuminator in Beirut.
Patriarch Gabroyan was born in Aleppo, Syria, Nov. 15, 1934, to parents who had fled Marin, Turkey, as a result of the 1915 genocide. In 1938, his family settled in Lebanon.
He received his early education in Lebanon, including at the Bzommar Monastery School. He continued his higher studies at the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome and graduate studies in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
He was ordained a priest in Lebanon March 28, 1959.
Patriarch Gabroyan served as principal of the Armenian Catholic Mesrobian School in Bourj Hammoud, Beirut’s main Armenian district, from 1960 to 1969. He was rector of the minor seminary of Bzommar from 1969 to 1976.
In 1976, he was appointed to serve Armenian Catholics in France and was ordained a bishop Feb. 13, 1977.
He retired Feb. 2, 2013, but that retirement was interrupted two years later when, at age 80, he was elected as the 20th patriarch after the death Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103