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Archbishop Levon Zekiyan

Papal Legate for the Mekhitarist Congregation

Archbishop of Constantinople, Apostolic administrator of the Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Constantinople

Archbishop Levon Zekiyan was born in 1943, in Constantinople. After graduating from the Mekhitarist Seminary, he entered Pontificia Università Gregoriana, where he received Master’s degree in Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained a priest in 1967.

In 1973, he completed his Ph.D. dissertation (“The Principle of Interiority in St. Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge and the self-knowledge of the knowing subject”) at the State University of Constantinople.

In 1974, he settled in the Mekhitarist Monastery in Venice and took the positions of editor of Hye Endanik periodical and deputy editor of Bazmavep Armenological review. The editorship of the latter was during 1980-1985. From 1974 to 1981 held the position of Secretary of the Armenian Academy of San Lazzaro. From 1982 to 1985, he was the Principal of Moorat-Raphael College, where in August of 1984-58 he organized the first Intensive Summer Course of the Armenian Language and Culture

In 1976, he was appointed the first lecturer of Armenian language and literature at the State University of Venice. In 1983, this course became a chair.

In 1976, he began collaborating with Professor Adriano Alpago Novello, a well-known specialist in Armenian Art, creating the Center for Study and Documentation of Armenian Culture (in Milan), where he was a permanent employee until 1991.

Since 1988, he has taught Armenian ecclesiastical sciences, such as history and theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.

From 1982 to 1990, he was an administrative member of the International Association of Armenian Studies (IAEA). In 1986, he founded the Intensive Summer Course of the Armenian Language and Culture at the University of Venice, which continues to this day.

He is an Honored Head of Armenian Studies Chair at Ca’ Foscari University.

From 1988 to 1992, was a Visiting Professor of American Armenian International College of the University of La Verne, California.

In 1986, he founded the Padus-Araxes Cultural Association, and in 1990 he co-founded the Italy-Armenia Association.

In 1992, he was appointed as distant member of Veneto Institute of Science, Literature and Art.

In 1994, he became a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.

His Eminence Archbishop Levon Zekiyan is the editor of thirty volumes, author of more than two hundred scientific articles and thirteen monographs.

Other organizational works include the Armenian Film Festival in Venice (1983), the 5th International Symposium on Armenian Art in Italy (1988), the Exhibition “Armenians in Italy” (1990), and the Exhibition “Armenia: Imprints of Civilization” (2011), organized with two partners.

On 21 May of 2014, Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic administrator of the Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Constantinople, granting him the rank of Archbishop.

On 30 April 30 of 2016, he was appointed Papal Legate for the Mekhitarist Congregation, with full powers.