Blessed Gomidas Keumurjian M (AC)
(also known as Gomides)
Born in Constantinople in 1656; died at Parmark-Kapu (near Constantinople) in 1707; beatified in 1929. Gomidas was the son of a dissident Armenian priest, he married Huru (who deserves a place in the calendar) at 20, was ordained, had seven children, and was assigned to Saint George Armenian Church.
He became known for his eloquence and religious fervor, and in 1696, when he was 40, with his wife, made his submission and was reconciled to Rome. He stayed on at Saint George's, and his success in reuniting five of the twelve priests there to Rome caused much opposition from the dissidents, who complained to the Turkish authorities. He then went to Jerusalem, where his activities at Saint James Armenian Monastery incurred the opposition of a John of Smyrna.
When Gomidas returned to Constantinople in 1702, John was vicar of Patriarch Avedik. Avedik was exiled for a time to Cyprus, and while there was kidnapped by the French ambassador. This angered the dissidents and they persuaded the Turkish authorities to move against the Catholics.
Gomidas was arrested in 1707 and condemned to the galleys, but was ransomed by friends. He continued to preach reunion with Rome and was again arrested later in the same year at the instigation of dissident Armenian priests.
By now John of Smyrna had become patriarch of the Armenians. Gomidas was accused of being a Frank (which meant being either a foreigner or a Latin Catholic), though he had been born in Constantinople, and of fomenting trouble among the Armenians in the city.
Though the judge, Mustafa Kamal, the chief kadi, knew Gomidas was an Armenian priest, Kamal was unable to do anything in the case when a stream of perjured witnesses testified that Gomidas was a troublemaker, a Frank, and an agent of hostile Western powers, and Gomidas was found guilty.
He was offered his freedom if he would apostatize to Islam, and was beheaded at Parmark-Kapu, on the outskirts of Constantinople, when he refused. He is sometimes mistakenly called Cosimo di Carbognano, but this was his son's name (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).