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The title archimandrite , primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot whom a bishop appointed to supervise several 'ordinary' abbots and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery.

Melkite Patriarch Gregory III (center of picture) with some Archimandrites, visiting Sanctuary of Our Lady of Caravaggio, Italy, on 11 September 2008

The title archimandrite (Greek: ἀρχιμανδρίτης archimandritis), primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot whom a bishop appointed to supervise several 'ordinary' abbots (each styled hegumenos) and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery.

It is also used as one purely title of honour, with no connection to any actual monastery, and is bestowed on clergy as a mark of respect or gratitude for service to the Church. This particular sign of respect is only given to those priests who have taken vows of celibacy, that is monks. Distinguished married clergy may receive the title of archpriest.