Mechitarists

Congregation of Armenian monks in communion with the Church of Rome. The founder was Mechitar, born at Sebaste in 1676 who formally joined the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1701 with sixteen companions formed a religious institute with himself as superior. Their Uniate propaganda incurred Armenian opposition, and they were forced to move to Morea which then belonged to Venice, where they built a monastery in 1706. On the outbreak of hostilities between Turks and Venetians, they migrated to Venice where they were granted the island of St. Lazzaro in 1717. Mechitar died there in 1749, and it has remained the headquarters of the congregation.