The Office of the Western Diocese is saddened to inform the passing of His Eminence Archbishop Shahan Svajian, Vicar General of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Archbishop Svajian passed away on September 23 at “Sourp Pergitch” Holy Savior Armenian Hospital in Zeytinburnu. He was 87.
At the directive of the Primate, all Parishes of the Western Diocese are to hold a Requiem Service (Hokehankist) at the conclusion of the service for the late Archbishop Shahan on Sunday, September 29, 2013.
Archbishop Shahan Svajian (1926-2013)
Archbishop Shahan Svajian was born on September 15, 1925 in Constantinople. His father, Toros, was from Caesaria, and his mother, Martha, was from Kharpert. He received his primary education in Constantinople and continued 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 Khachadourian, he came to Constantinople and was appointed to serve as the Vice Dean of theHoly 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 Armenia Religion, Armenian Language, and Ethics at the colleges of Gatekiugh and Firekiugh.
Father Shahan received the rank of Dzairakouyn Vartabed 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 Vazken I, of Blessed Memory.
In 1991, by the Pontifical Encyclical of H.H. Vazken I, Catholicos of All Armenians, Bishop Shahan was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. Archbishop Shahan was serving in the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople as the Vicar General.