23 September 2013
Constantinople: Archbishop Shahan Svajian of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople Enters Eternal Rest – Blessed is the memory of the righteous.
Archbishop Shahan Svajian was born on 15 September 1926 in Constantinople. His father – Toros, was from Caesarea, and his mother – Martha came from Kharberd. He received his primary education in Constantinople and continued with his education in Jerusalem.
He was ordained to the diaconate in 1951 by His Grace Bishop Zareh Payassian, becoming a member of the Brotherhood of St. James. In 1954, he was ordained as a celibate priest by then Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Archbishop Yeghishe Derderian, and given the priestly name of Shahan. Upon his ordination, Father Shahan lectured at the Holy Translators school of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. His first pastoral assignment was to serve the Armenian faithful in Haifa as their spiritual pastor.
In 1957 upon the invitation of then Patriarch of Constantinople His Beatitude Karekin Khachatourian, he came to Constantinople and was appointed to serve as the Vice Dean of the Holy Cross Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In 1963 Father Shahan’s ministry led him to education and the further enlightenment of the faithful. He served as a lecturer for 23 years on Armenian Religion, Armenian Language, and Ethics at the colleges of Gatekiugh and Firekiugh.
Father Shahan received the rank of Senior Archimandrite (Dzayraguyn Vardapet) by then Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Archbishop Yeghishe Derderian, in 1961. He was consecrated as a Bishop by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Vasken I, of Blessed Memory.
In 1991, by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I, Bishop Shahan was elevated to the rank of Archbishop.