Azaria, Aristaces

Azaria, Aristaces an Armenian Catholic generalabbot and archbishop, was born at Constantinople, July 18, 1782. At the age of fifteen he went to Rome to be educated there at the College of thePropaganda. When the French entered Rome, in 1798, he had to leave the city. At Venice and Trieste he was kindly received by the Mechitarists, whom he joined March 25,1801, exchanging his name Joseph for Aristaces. In 1802 he made his vows, and in 1803 he received holy orders. The peace of Presburg connected Trieste with the kingdom of Illyria, and the new government persecuted the Mechitarists as Austrian subjects and confiscated their property. At last, in 1810, the congregation was permitted to settle in Vienna with the injunction to take care entirely of itself. In 1816 Azaria was made vartabed, i.e. doctor, by the general-abbot Adeodat. He then went to Rome, and from thence to Constantinople, where he labored in behalf of his Church. In 1821 he returned home again. In 1822 he went again to Rome, was appointed assistant to Adeodat, and succeeded him after his death, in 1825, as general-vicar and superior, and in 1826 as general-abbot. In 1827 Leo XII appointed him archbishop of Cesarea. Under his guidance his congregation was soon in a flourishing state. He founded schools and propagated Armenian literature, to which he also contributed. He died at Vienna, May 6, 1854. See Hurter, Aus dem Leben des hochw. Herrn Aristaces Azaria (Vienna, 1855); Brunner, Wiener Kirchenzeitung, 1855, No. 91; Hergenroether, in Wetzer u. Welte's Kirchenlexikon, s.v. (B.P.)

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