Preface by the Editor
This work by Patriarch Malachia Ormanian has been acknowledged as the finest and most exact history of the Church of Armenia. First it was written in French and published in Paris in 1910. The first Armenian publication appeared in 1911. The Armenian text so far has had five editions. In 1912 it was translated from French into English by G.M. Gregory, and published in the same year in London.
Ormanian was one of the outstanding Church historians of our time. He was born of Roman Catholic Armenian parents in Constantinople on February 11, 1841. He studied in Rome at the seminary of the Propaganda. In 1869-70 he took part in the Vatican Council as a distinguished Roman Catholic theologian. On October 28, 1879, he returned to the bosom of the Armenian Church. He was the president of the Armenian Theological Seminary of Armash from 1889 to 1896. He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople on November 6, 1896, and held this office until July 10,1908. His death occurred in 1918 in Constantinople at the age of seventy-seven.
Outstanding among Ormanian’s other voluminous books are Azkapatoom, a comprehensive history of the Armenian Church and nation, and Hamapatoom, the content and explanation of the four gospels.
Ormanian’s writings are characterized not only by extensive and accurate knowledge, but also by a sympathetic understanding of contrasted and even different points of view, and also by genuine religious insight.
In the present new edition the text has been left substantially unaltered. Footnotes and a new chapter (XX) have been added to bring the historical developments up to date. A third appendix has likewise been added to give the reader a conspectus of the present-day Church.
Antelias, Lebanon June 16, 1955