The Life and Work of the Coadjutor Catholicos Papken Guleserian is not only a tribute to one of the outstanding spiritual leaders of the Armenian people in the twentieth century, but also a valuable resource for understanding the structure and creed of the Armenian Church. Containing the biography and writings of Coadjutor Catholicos Papken I Guleserian of the Great House of Cilicia, this work spans thirty years of twentieth century history of the Armenian people and their church.
The Life and Work of the Coadjutor Catholicos Papken Guleserian presents Catholicos Papken as a clergyman of selfless devotion to his church, his nation, and his vocation. Catholicos Papken is also revealed as a man of bright intellect and progressive thought, with great commitment to his ideals and unquestionable patriotism.
Some of the opinions presented in this work may seem outdated to the contemporary reader, but when considered within the framework of the early twentieth century and compared with other opinions of the time, they testify to the revolutionary nature of Catholicos Papken's ideas.
This publication is the realization of a suggestion made in 1998 by Catholicos Karekin I of All Armenians, of the blessed memory, to the relatives of Coadjutor Catholicos Papken I living in the United States, namely, the Walter and Edward Guleserian and Mary Bergoudian families, that their ancestor's life and work be published in English.
The biographical information in this work and the posthumous testimonies herein were gathered from a memorial book1 dedicated to the Coadjutor Catholicos and compiled in Armenian through the combined efforts of Vahe Guleserian, a nephew of Catholicos Papken I; Archpriest Papken Maksoudian, a student of the Catholicos; Puzant Yeghiayan, a pro fessor at the Seminary established by the Catholicos, and Krikor Bogharian, a compatriot of the Catholicos.
Also included in the book are two letters translated from a book of letters exchanged between Catholicoi Sahag II and Papken I.2
The selected writings of the Catholicos compiled in this book were translated from a variety of different sources, each of which is referred to at the beginning of the selection.
Acknowledgment is due to the Very Reverend Father, Dr. Krikor Maksoudian, and to Barbara Ghazarian for their editorial revisions and comments, as well as to Reverend Father Arten Ashjian for his translation of an essay by Coadjutor Catholicos Papken I.
It is the sincere hope of the sponsors and the translator/editor of this work that it serve as a source of information and inspiration for those who are interested in learning about the Armenian nation, its church, and one of its most industrious and prominent servants of the twentieth century.
Vatche Ghazarian, Ph.D.