Józef Teodorowicz, Polish Archbishop of Armenian origin

Archbishop Józef Teofil Teodorowicz (born July 25, 1864 in Żywaczów in Pokucie, died December 4, 1938 in Lviv) – Archbishop of Lviv of the Armenian Rite, theologian, politician, member of the Legislative Sejm, and then senator of the first term in the Second Polish Republic.

Childhood and youth

Józef Teodorowicz was born in the Żywaczów estate, near Horodenka in Pokucie, as the son of Grzegorz, an Armenian nobleman of the Heart coat of arms, and Gertrude, descended from the Armenian Ohanowicz family. Baptized “out of water” by the Greek Catholic parish priest Melchior Romanowski, probably on his birthday. He was baptized on December 16, 1864 by Fr. Klemens Horwath, Roman Catholic parish priest in Chocimierz.

After graduating from the secondary school in Stanisławów and passing his secondary school-leaving examination there in 1882 [1], he enrolled in law at the University of Czerniowce in Bukovina. During his studies, he experienced a crisis related to his faith. His mother and sister prayed fervently for his conversion in front of the painting of Our Lady of Graces in Stanisławów.

After a year, the prayers were answered, because young Józef not only reconciled with God in the sacrament of penance, but also abandoned secular studies, entering the seminary in Lviv. In gratitude, his mother offered family jewels as a votive offering to the Stanisławów sanctuary.


On January 2, 1887, Józef Teodorowicz was ordained a priest by the Armenian Catholic Archbishop Izaak Mikołaj Isakowicz, celebrating Mass. first in front of the miraculous image of the Mother of God in Stanisławów. He served as a priest in the Armenian Archdiocese, first as a parish priest in Brzeżany, and then as a commune canon in Lviv. He was also a councilor of the city of Lviv and a co-founder of Catholic dailies. In this work he collaborated with Fr. Adam Stefan Sapieha, later archbishop of Krakow, with whom he was friends until the end of his life.

Archbishop of Lviv

After the death of Archbishop Isakowicz in 1901, Józef Teodorowicz was appointed his successor. As archbishop, he was a zealous steward of the archdiocese. Due to the small number of native vocations, he accepted many Latin priests and a few Armenian priests from the Middle East into the Archdiocese.

He looked after archdiocesan institutions, which included, inter alia, Armenian Dormitory for them. dr. Józef Torosiewicz, the Pledge Bank “Mons Pius” and the only Armenian monastery of Armenian Benedictine Nuns in Lviv, as well as the Archdiocesan Union of Armenians in Poland. In the years 1908-1930 he carried out a thorough renovation of the Armenian cathedral in Lviv, which Jan Henryk Rosen decorated with paintings famous today, and Józef Mehoffer with mosaics.

He participated in the Armenian synods in Rome in 1911 and 1928 and in many international Eucharistic and Mariological congresses, as well as national patriotic and religious congresses and conventions. In 1937, together with card. August Hlond with the coronation of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Graces in Stanisławów.

Preacher and writer

He was also a great preacher and writer. He left behind collections of sermons and numerous religious, patriotic and social publications, many of which were very popular.

Read More: wiki.ormianie.pl

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