Archbishop Norvan Zakarian

Archbishop Norvan Zakarian (baptismal name Armen) was born on April 03, 1940, in Beirut, Lebanon. He received his primary education at the Abgaryan National College in Beirut. 

In 1954, he entered the Theological Seminary of Antelias.  He continued his education first at the Beit Mery School in Lebanon, then at the AGBU Hovagimian – Manougian Secondary School.

In 1958, he entered the Jarankavoratz Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

 In 1959, after his father’s death, Fr. Norvan interrupted his studies and returned to Beirut to take care of his family. 

In 1967, he moved to live in France. 

On December 24, 1967, he was ordained to the diaconate. 

On October 27, 1968, he was ordained as a celibate priest by His Eminence Archbishop Serovbe Manoukian and given the priestly name of Norvan.

 From 1967 to 1968, Father Norvan studied the French language at L’Alliance Francaise in Paris.  After completion of his studies, he taught the Armenian language and religion in the Raincy School in France.    

On February 08, 1970, he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) by Archbishop Serovbe Manoukian.

 From 1970 to 1974, he studied Theology at the Catholic Institute of Paris.

 From 1968 to 1975, Father Norvan served as the spiritual pastor at the St. John the Baptist Mother Cathedral in Paris, France.

 From 1975 to 1980, he was a spiritual pastor at the St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.

 In March 1980, he was appointed to serve as the Vicar of the Pontifical Legate of Western Europe in the district of Lyons, France. 

On February 14, 1982, he was consecrated as a Bishop by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Vasken I of Blessed Memory.

Bishop Norvan has published works entitled, “Excerpts About the Room” and “Approaches” regarding the literary works of Grigor Paltean, and a number of religious and literary researches and articles. During his tenure in France, the Church of Surb Nshan (Holy Sign) of Charvieu-Chavagneux, Isere and St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Saint-Etienne, Loire were constructed. He has been the recipient of numerous honors from the French Government. 

On June 22, 2007, during a Diocesan Assembly convened for the newly established unified Armenian Diocese of France, His Eminence Archbishop Norvan Zakarian was elected as the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of France. He served at the Headquarters of the new Diocese in the Saint John the Baptist Armenian Cathedral of Paris.  

In July 2013, Archbishop Norvan resigned from his service as Primate of the Armenian Diocese of France and Pontifical Legate to Western Europe, as well as from his membership on the Supreme Spiritual Council.  He is retired and residing in France.