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Parsegh of Cilicia

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Parsegh of Cilicia was the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church between 1105 and 1113 and was nephew of Gregory II.

As Catholicos Gregory II had moved to Tarsus, far from the center of Armenian civilization for the past many centuries, the eastern Armenians considered themselves without a pontiff. Gregory had previously visited Ani and set up his nephew Parsegh as bishop there, and so later they gained Gregory's sanction to elect Parsegh their pontiff. Around this time two other rivals named themselves pontiff of their own regions: Theodorus and one named Paul in Marash. There was much emnity between them and cause of much confusion amongst the people. Paul saw this and decided to relinquish his seat and retire to his convent, at which time the nation at large recognized Gregory II alone as pontiff, with Parsegh as his deputy. In 1087 Parsegh deposed Theodorus and settled at Edessa. In 1103, after many requests, Gregory II finally accepted the invitation of Basil the Sly to move his residence to Rapan, in the vicinity of the city of Cheson, to spend his last years. As he left his Tarsus monastery, he took with him wards Gregory III of Cilicia and Nerses IV the Graceful, in whom he recognized future greatness. He entrusted the two preteens to the care of his nephew and deputy Parsegh as well as to his host Basil the Sly, and stated that on his death Parsegh should be made Catholicos to then be followed by Gregory. Parsegh had his seat sometimes in the desert of Shughr and sometimes in the city of Edessa. He saw to the education of Gregory and Nerses and soon ordained Gregory a priest. During this period the Persians invaded Cilicia but were defeated by the forces of Basil the Sly. Two years later though Cilicia was once again invaded, this time by Scythians. In 1111 they turned their sights on the fortress of Zovk which belonged to Gregory and Nerses's father Apirat Pahlavi, grandson of Gregorius Magistratus, at which he was killed. Parsegh died in the desert red convent of Shugr after being pontiff for thirty-one year, eight of those as sole ruler of the Armenian Church. Based on Gregory II's wishes, Gregory the son of Apirat was elected Catholicos at there at the red convent, only twenty years old.

Preceded by
Gregory II the Martyrophile
Catholicoi of the Holy See of Cilicia
1105–1113
Succeeded by
Gregory III of Cilicia

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