Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian bigraphy, stories - Armenian Cardinal Patriarch

Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian : biography

September 18, 1895 - May 16, 1971

Krikor Bedros XV Aghajanian ( , , ) (September 18, 1895 – May 16, 1971) was a Cardinal and leader of the Armenian Catholic Church. He served as Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia from 1937 to 1962, and Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in the Roman Curia from 1958 to 1970. Agagianian was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.

Born in Akhaltsikhe (in modern Georgia), Agagianian studied at the seminary in Tbilisi and the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. He was ordained as a priest on December 23, 1917. He entered the teaching Faculty of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome in 1921; he was later Rector of the same college from 1932 to 1937.

Agagianian was appointed Titular Bishop of Comana on July 11, 1935, and was consecrated ten days later at the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino, the national parish of Armenian Catholics in Rome. He was elected Patriarch Catholicos of Cilicia of All the Armenians by the Armenian Synod, on November 30, 1937, with the name of Gregory Peter XV. On February 18, 1946 he was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Pius XII.

During the papal conclave of 1958 following the death of Pius XII, Agagianian received a large number of votes, eventually approaching the majority needed for election. This was confirmed by the elected pope himself, Pope John XXIII. He declined the position.

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