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Komitas Aghtsetsi

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Saint Hripsime Church

Komitas I Aghtsetsi (Armenian: Կոմիտաս Ա Աղցեցի) or Komitas I of Aghdznik was a Catholicos of Armenia and Supreme Patriarch as well as the bishop of Taron from 615 until his death in 628. He is known also as Komitas Shinogh, "The Builder" — an allusion to his significant patronage of building and restoration work [1] He was instrumental in the realization of several architectural projects, among which were the complete renovation of the Cathedral at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin; the construction of the Church of St. Hripsime, which stands to this day on the site of an earlier edifice; and the building of the Church of St. Gregory in Dvin.

Komitas was also the editor of the collection of Armenian translations of patristic texts (including extracts from lost texts, e.g. Timothy Aelurus) known as the Seal of the Faith.

A devout Catholicos, he was never far away from disputes regarding the faith. He was a vociferous participant in doctrinal disputes. He sided with the orthodox school of thought of the Armenian Church during the Council of Ctesiphon (615–616). The Council concluded with the acceptance of Monophysitism; the Chalcedonian and Nestorian doctrines were rejected.[1]

A poet and musician, Komitas I contributed to the hymnography of the Armenian Church. His sharakan "Andzink Nviryalk", ('Devoted Souls') earned him a special place in the Armenian Church hymn-book or Sharaknots.[2] This hymn, noted for its poetic and lyric beauty, was composed to commemorate the completion of the rebuilding of the Church of St Hripsime. It is claimed to be the first Armenian hymn in praise of a post-biblical saint, based on the account of St Hripsime and her companions related in the History of Armenia composed by the fifth-century father of Armenian historiography, Agathangelos.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Jack Hacikyan, Agop; et al. (2000). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Sixth to the Eighteenth Century. Wayne State University Press. p. 46. ISBN 9780814328156. Retrieved 4 March 2013. Komitas Aghtsetsi.
  2. ^ Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom & Ireland: Liturgy of Hours
  • Catholicos Komitas, Կնիք հաւատոյ, Etchmiazin, 1914 (reprinted under the title Le sceau de la foi, Lisbon, 1974).
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Komitas Aghtsetsi
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