Armenian Church in Qamishli celebrates 90th anniversary of establishment of Monastery of Antelias as seat of Holy See of Cilicia

QAMISHLI, Syria – The Armenian Orthodox Diocese on Qamishli held a celebration in the Culbenkian Hall to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, seated in the Monastery of Antelias, in Antelias, Lebanon, in 1930. St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, consecrated in 1930 at the monastery complex and completed in 1940, now acts as the seat of the Holy See of Cilicia.

The celebration began with an opening speech, followed by poetry passages in Armenian, after which the screening of a film on the most important Armenian figures who contributed to the construction of the monastery complex which includes St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral (1940), the Catholicosate Library (1932), and a memorial chapel to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The event also featured dialogue, singing, and religious segments presented by the Center for Religious Education. The celebration concluded with a speech delivered by the Armenian Orthodox Bishop in Qamishli, His Excellency Archbishop Levon Yegian.

The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia was seated in the monastery of St. Sophia of Sis in modern day Kozan, Turkey for over six centuries. During the course of the Armenian Genocide, from approximately 1914-1923, the Armenian population of Cilicia was mostly destroyed. Many of the survivors fled to Syria, Lebanon, and other countries.