This Week in Armenian History

Death of Patriarch Hovhannes Golod (February 13, 1741)

Patriarch Hovhannes Golod portrayed in a miniature as he teaches, according to manuscript 2647-92 of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. 


Hovhannes Baghishetsi (Golod), Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, was one of the pioneers of Western Armenian renaissance with his religious, public, and cultural activities.

He was born in the village of Khoghts, in Baghesh (Bitlis), in 1678. He was called Golod because of his short height. He received his educate in the university of the monastery of Amerdol, and after graduation, in 1689 he was ordained celibate priest. He became a member of the congregation of the monastery of St. Garabed of Moush in 1706. He embarked on a mission to collect funds for the monastery, damaged after an earthquake. In 1712 he departed for Constantinople, where the Patriarchate sent him to Jerusalem, which was directly connected to the patriarchal see of Constantinople at the time.

After ending his mission successfully, he returned to Constantinople, where he was elected Patriarch in 1715 as Hovhannes IX.

Hovhannes Golod was remarkable for his oratory. During his tenure, the national, cultural, and education life of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire went through an awakening and notable achievements were recorded. The Cathedral of Kum Kapu, which had been burned in 1718, was consecrated again in 1719. Several other churches in Constantinople were built or rebuilt in the following years: St. Garabed (Scutari, 1727); Haskeuy, 1729; St. Archangel (Balat, 1730); St. Illuminator (Galata, 1732), which had been destroyed by a fire. The church of Holy Cross in Scutari and the church of Ortakeuy were renovated.

In 1715, the Patriarch inaugurated the first school in Scutari, which was moved, along with the library, to the Patriarchate in Kum Kapu. He also founded two printing houses and published 80 volumes in Armenian. He organized a choir adjoined to the Cathedral of Kum Kapu, which had an important role in the conservation and transmission of Armenian religious music.

Patriarch Hovhannes Golod passed away on February 13, 1741, in Constantinople.