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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Armenia Patriarch Dies

YEREVAN, Armenia () -- Catholicos Vazgen I, the spiritual leader of Armenian Christians, died early Thursday of cancer. He was 85.

Vazgen, born Levon Karapet Palchian in 1908 in Bucharest, Romania, died at his villa in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

Vazgen was patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He was ordained in Athens in 1943 and appointed head of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Romania. He was elected Catholicos of All Armenians in 1955, and moved to what was then Soviet Armenia.

Earlier this year, he met with Moslems in the Caucasus mountains in the hope of ending the war for control of Nagorno-Karabakh.