Holy Apostles Monastery
|Holy Apostles Monastery
Սուրբ Առաքելոց Վանք
Holy Apostles Monastery in the 1900s
|Location||5 km SE of Muş|
|Affiliation||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|Status||destroyed by the Turkish army in 1915|
|Completed||6th - 10th century|
The Holy Apostles Monastery (Armenian: Սուրբ Առաքելոց վանք, Surb Arakelots vank) was a 6th-10th century Armenian monastery in the Taron province of historic Armenia near the town of Mush (now in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey). The monastery was destroyed after the Armenian population of Mush was massacred during the Armenian Genocide.
Arak'elots monastery was founded in the 4th century by Saint Gregory the Illuminator (Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսավորիչ)to house various relics he received in Rome. Those relics (which included the left arms of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and right arm of the apostle Andrew) account for the monastery's name. However, it is likely that Arak'elots, as a monastery, was a mid-tenth century foundation: none of the surviving structures are older than that date. During the renewed rule of the Mamikoneans in the post-Byzantine period the monastery became a major cultural and religious centre of Taron. The history of the monastery after the end of Mamikonean rule is mostly one of Muslim raids, massacres, brief periods of abandonment followed by a re-establishment of the monastic community, and short-lived revivals. Under Ottoman rule some stability returned and the fortunes of the monastery rose, but then declined again during the Ottoman-Persian wars of the 17th century. In the 1660s an earthquake damaged most of the buildings. Massacres took place in the mid-1890s, after which the congregation was reduced to only a prior and two or three monks. However, the continued presence of the relics at the monastery ensured that it was an important place of pilgrimage until the First World War. In 1915 the monastery was attacked and looted and the last prior, Yovhannes Vardapet Muratian, was murdered.
- Saint Karapet Monastery, a 4th-century Armenian monastery also in the Taron province of historic Armenia
- Richard G. Hovannisian (dir.), Armenian Baghesh/Bitlis and Taron/Mush, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, 2001 (ISBN 978-1568591360), p. 120
- Armenian Miniatures, E. Korkhmazian, I. Drampian, Aurora, 1984, p. 44
- Journal of Ancient History, Vol. 167-171, 1984, p. 194
- Holy Apostles Monastery at VirtualAni.org