Biography of Father Karapet Diliurgian

Description:
Born in 1861 in Artvin (present-day Turkey). Studied in Rome; from 1910 he served in Venice; in 1915 he returned to Artvin. During the mass slaughter of Armenians that had begun in 1915, he gathered the Armenian population of Artvin into the church and preached a sermon on the theme that they need not hold on to their wealth and proposed that to save their lives, they bring gold things and coins to the church. These valuables went for the ransom of the Armenians, who left for the Caucasus with him. For this heroic act he received a letter of gratitude from the Pope. From 1916 he served in a parish of Armenian Catholics in Moscow. From September 1931, after the death of Father Denis Kalatozov, he became administrator for Armenian Catholics in the Caucasus, with residence in Tbilisi. From 1934 he served parishes in Leninakan and Stepanavan (in Armenia). In June 1936 – arrested in Krasnodar; in October, banished for three years to Loino, Kirov region; released in 1939 (at age seventy-eight) under the condition that he would not engage in priestly activity. He took up residence in Ochamchira, Abkhazia, and even until he was eighty years old he continued to travel through towns and villages, clandestinely saying Mass, baptizing children and burying the dead. There was even an instance when he baptized some school children while they were sleeping so that they would not later talk about their baptism. Died in Ochamchira in October 1942 (exact date of death unknown). Source: No source given, but see Dzwonkowski (1998), p. 210; letter from a Catholic in Sochi dated 1 June 1999, submitted by the parish pastor
Variant Names:
Diliurgian, Karapet
Dates:
1861-1942
Locations:
Artvin (Turkey); Rome (Italy); Venice (Italy); Moscow (Russia); Caucasus; Tʻbilisi (Georgia); Leninakan (Armenian S.S.R.); Stepʻanavan (Armenia); Krasnodar (Russia); Kirov (Kirovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Očʻamčʻira (Georgia)
Subjects:
male; clergy and religious; survived