Monday, 23 November 2009


As I suggested in a previous post I would return to the subject of the Latin shaped mitre in the Armenian Apostolic Church as depicted in the statue of St. Gregory the Illuminator AD 301 recently erected on the side of St Peter's basilica, Rome. He was a successor of the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholemew the founders of the Armenian church. Although there is a small community of Armenian rite Catholics throughout the world who take their origins from Lebanon in the 18th. cent. the vast majority of Armenians are Orthodox and the mother see is based at the holy city of Etchmiadzin in Armenia within sight of Mount Ararat ( now supposedly Turkey) where Noah's Ark rested after the great flood. I attach some photos I took on pilgrimage in 2003 (post soviet occupation) showing the latin shaped mitre. They are on the whole all  of the 'precious mitre' type and the only difference is in that they are joined at the top instead of open. I have not yet found out why they follow(or perhaps they lead) the latin form. The orthodox mitre which is crown shaped is retained by the priests and also unusually the deacons as well on some occasions especially at ordinations. The Catholicos of all Armenians (His Holiness Karekin II) with whom I and others shared an audience is dynamic and friendly. These photos are during the Divine Liturgy of the Mass ( the ancient rite is a mix of St John Chrysostom and St. Basil). He is in the photos at his throne not mitred and not celebrating on this occasion but gave the blessing. The audience is in the palace of His Holiness. More details another time.


  1. I've been wanting to go to Armenia, but not alone and not as a conventional tourist. What sort of group was it that organized that visit for you?

  2. Unfortunately I can't help you much as I went with a group of anaesthetists at the invitation of my Uncle as a sort of unofficial chaplain. However the Lonely Planet Guide may help. Remember it is a poor post Soviet country which is struggling to be independent. I took US dollars which get you everything as the currency was difficult. I flew via Prague to Yerevan and stayed in the Congress Hotel in Yerevan which was good. I hope this helps.