Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, who is the foremost religious figure in the Armenian Orthodox Church.
He entered the Gevorkian Theological Seminary in his young teens.
He has visited the U.S. several times, and in 2007 led the opening prayer for a session of the House of Representatives.
He was born was born Ktrich Nersessian in a small village near Echmiadzin, the traditional seat of Armenian Catholicos.
He maintained friendly relations with Pope John Paul II.