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Catholic Dictionary

Term

MECHITARISTS or MEKHITARISTS

Definition

A community of Catholic Armenian monks, founded at Constantinople in 1701 and living under a modified Benedictine Rule. Established by Mechitar of Sebaste, an Armenian priest who submitted to Rome, the community was driven from Constantinople and took refuge in Venetian territory, finally on the island of San Lazzaro. Another section later settled in Vienna. The Mechitarists are engaged in education and missionary work and have published many important Armenian writings. They use the Armenian Liturgy.