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Feast of the Discovery of St. Mary’s Box

Feast of the Discovery of St. Mary’s Box

 

According to tradition, while en route to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, two Greek princes come across a chest that once belonged to St. Mary. In Galilee, they see a large crowd gathered in front of a Jewish woman’s house. They inquire and find that the sick are being healed due to the inexplicable power of the chest. The princes bring the box to Constantinople and present it to the Patriarch, who places it in the Church of St. Mary.  The Patriarch then establishes the Feast of the Discovery of St. Mary’s Box.

The Armenian Church celebrates this feast upon the order of the Catholicos Simeon from Yerevan, who accepted this tradition from the Greek Orthodox Church in the late 18th century.

When is celebrated

15.06.2008
05.07.2009
27.06.2010
17.07.2011
01.07.2012
23.06.2013
13.07.2014
28.06.2015
19.06.2016
09.07.2017
24.06.2018
14.07.2019
05.07.2020
27.06.2021
10.07.2022
02.07.2023
23.06.2024
13.07.2025
28.06.2026
20.06.2027
09.07.2028
24.06.2029
14.07.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Kalistratos and his 49 companions, and Lukianos the Priest

Commemoration of Sts. Kalistratos and his 49 companions, and Lukianos the Priest

 

St. Kalistratos was from the city of Chalcedon in Asia Minor.  At the end of the third century, he was a captain serving in the Army of the Emperor Diocletian, who persecuted Christians.  Kalistratos is imprisoned when he is found to be a Christian.  He is placed in a sack and thrown into the sea. Through a Divine miracle, the captain is saved from death.  Witnessing that their captain has been saved, 49 of his friends immediately convert to Christianity.  Together, all 50 Christians are once again thrown to the sea, but once again God’s miraculous power saves them.  They are finally pulled from the water and beheaded, thus meeting their deaths as martyrs.

Lukianos (Lucianus) the Priest, born in Samosata, is known as an eminent preacher of Christianity.  He has been considered the head of the Antiochian School of Theology.  Following his arrest, torture and lengthy imprisonment in the city of Nicomedia, he is martyred in 312 A.D. The edited version of the New Testament’s translation into Greek is ascribed to Lukianos, and is used through the present.  St. John Chrysostom highly regarded him and his work.

When is celebrated

16.06.2008
06.07.2009
28.06.2010
18.07.2011
02.07.2012
24.06.2013
14.07.2014
29.06.2015
20.06.2016
10.07.2017
25.06.2018
15.07.2019
06.07.2020
28.06.2021
11.07.2022
03.07.2023
24.06.2024
14.07.2025
29.06.2026
21.06.2027
10.07.2028
25.06.2029
15.07.2030

Commemoration of the Prophet Zechariah

Commemoration of the Prophet Zechariah

 

Zechariah is one of the twelve prophets of the Old Testament, and his book consisting of 12 chapters, is the largest among the books of the prophets. It is also called the “Book of Hope” and through it we learn of God’s Kingdom in Israel by means of the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple.

Prophecies from Zechariah date back to approximately 518 B.C., when Zerubbabel and Joshua were rebuilding the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem. It is there that Zechariah, as the prophet of the Lord, begins his mission among the Jews and actively supports the rebuilding of the Temple.

His prophecies are valuable not only for his visions, but also for his foretelling about the arrival of a Messiah – the Christ (Zechariah 9:9-10; 11:12-13; 12:10; 13:7; etc.).  Zechariah has predicted the coming of Jesus Christ, His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His crucifixion, His being pierced with a lance, His betrayal for thirty silver coins, etc. The Evangelists, writing about the events in the life of Christ, have often referred to the prophecies of Zechariah. According to St. Matthew the Evangelist, Zechariah the Prophet was murdered “between the Temple and the altar” (Matthew 23:35).

Zechariah’s teachings on behavior and spirit are vivid messages addressed to us all.  According to them, neither effort nor means shall be spared for the construction or rebuilding of houses of prayer. For he writes that it is the temple that testifies for hope and faith, and the temple that guarantees national unity and perseverance.

When is celebrated

17.06.2008
07.07.2009
29.06.2010
19.07.2011
03.07.2012
25.06.2013
15.07.2014
30.06.2015
21.06.2016
11.07.2017
26.06.2018
16.07.2019
07.07.2020
29.06.2021
12.07.2022
04.07.2023
25.06.2024
15.07.2025
30.06.2026
22.06.2027
11.07.2028
26.06.2029
16.07.2030

Commemoration of St. Hripsime and her Companions

Commemoration of St. Hripsime and her Companions

 

Noble Hripsime was one of the 37 Christian nuns who together with the Abyss Gayane lived during the period of the reign of the Roman King Diocletianus (284-305 years) in the Monastery of St. Paul located in the mountains of Rome.

Pretty Hripsime captivated the King by her dazzling beauty, who wished to get married to her. Disobeying the king, the pious nuns, led by their Abyss Gayane, ran away from Alexandria. According to the tradition, Holy Godmother appeared to them and told them to leave for the Araratian country - Armenia. So, the nuns went to Vagharshapat. On their way, passing by the Mountain of Varague, Hripsime buried in the earth a relic from the wooden Holy Cross, which she always had on her neck. The relic was found by a miracle in the 7th century and since then the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varague started to be celebrated in the Calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church along with the other feasts dedicated to the Holy Cross.

The Armenian King Tiridates, becoming aware of the nun’s story, himself wished to get married to Hripsime. Hripsime was brought to the palace, and Gayane was also brought to the palace to convince Hripsime to obey the King. But even in that way the King did not manage to get married to Hripsime and becoming angry, ordered to kill all the nuns. Nine days later St. Gregory the Illuminator found the relics of the nuns and burying the relics, built martyriums in those sites, where in the future the Monasteries of St. Hripsime, St. Gayane and St. Shoghakat were erected.

Nuns’ mardyrdom is a turning point in the history of the Armenian nation. After their martyrdom St. Gregory the Illuminator was brought out of the pit after more than 13 years’ imprisonment to spread the light of Christ in Armenia.

In the Armenian Apostolic Church on the days of the feasts dedicated to the memory of St. Hripsime and her companions a Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all Armenian Churches. On the eve of the feast ceremonies are held, which start after the evening service, and Church hymns and songs, dedicated to the nuns, are sang.

When is celebrated

19.05.2008
08.06.2009
31.05.2010
20.06.2011
04.06.2012
27.05.2013
16.06.2014
01.06.2015
23.05.2016
12.06.2017
28.05.2018
17.06.2019
08.06.2020
31.05.2021
13.06.2022
05.06.2023
27.05.2024
16.06.2025
01.06.2026
24.05.2027
12.06.2028
28.05.2029
17.06.2030

Commemoration of St. Gayane and her Companions

Commemoration of St. Gayane and her Companions

 

In the Armenian Apostolic Church on the days of the feasts dedicated to the memory of St. Gayane and her companions a Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all Armenian Churches. On the eve of the feast ceremonies are held, which start after the evening service, and Church hymns and songs, dedicated to the nuns, are sang.
St. Gayane lived during the period of the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletianus (284-305 years) who subjected Christians to persecutions. She was one of the 37 nuns who left Rome for Armenia.

During the first 20 years of his reign Diocletianus didn’t persecute Christians despite his being heathen. However, since 303, under the pressure of Caesar Galerius, he subjected Christians to severe persecutions. He issued 4 edicts against Christians which envisaged Christians’ removal from the army, confiscation of church property, first of all buildings and ritual books, church servants’ arrest and capital punishments, subjecting Christians to torments pursuing the goal to make them to give up their beliefs and faith. Persecutions agitated the whole empire, Christians were martyred for the sake of Christ. It was during this difficult period that Gayane and her companions left Rome.

Diocletianus informed about it the Armenian King Tiridates suggesting him either to return one of the nuns – Hripsime, or to get married to her. Becoming aware of the nun’s story, himself wished to get married to Hripsime. King’s servants searched and found Hripsime and started to convince her to obey the king’s will who was captivated by her dazzling beauty and wished to get married to her. Hripsime rejected him saying that she as well as the other nuns had already become the bride of Christ and couldn’t marry.

Becoming angry, the king ordered to subject her and the other nuns to severe torments. Her tongue and womb were cut, eyes were put out and her body was dismembered. Abyss Gayane and two of the nuns also were subjected to severe torments for encouraging Hripsime to endure tortures for the sake of Christ. Executioners pierced their feet, hang them, tore off their skin, cut their abdomens and afterwards beheaded them. The remaining 33 nuns were put to sword and parts of their bodies were thrown to the beasts for eating.

Nine days later St. Gregory the Illuminator found the relics of the nuns and burying the relics, built martyriums in those sites, where in the future the Monasteries of St. Hripsime, St. Gayane and St. Shoghakat were erected.

When is celebrated

20.05.2008
09.06.2009
01.06.2010
21.06.2011
05.06.2012
28.05.2013
17.06.2014
02.06.2015
24.05.2016
13.06.2017
29.05.2018
18.06.2019
09.06.2020
01.06.2021
14.06.2022
06.06.2023
28.05.2024
17.06.2025
02.06.2026
25.05.2027
13.06.2028
29.05.2029
18.06.2030

Commemoration of St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine

Commemoration of St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine

 

The Armenian Church commemorates the day when the relics of St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine were transferred to Armenia.  Mariam, the wife of St. Gregory the Illuminator, had a brother named Atanagine. He was the Bishop of Pitacton, and died while defending the faith. After his consecration in Caesarea, St. Gregory brought the relics of St. John and Bishop Atanagine to Armenia, and buried them in locations named Innaknya and Bagavan, in the region of Ashtishat, and built martyriums in those sites. After baptizing King Tiridates and the royal court in 301 AD, St. Gregory the Illuminator celebrated Divine Liturgy and gave instructions that the memories of the St. John and Bishop Atanagine should be commemorated on that specific day of every year instead of the feast of Vanatour, the pagan god of the New Year.

When is celebrated

22.05.2008
11.06.2009
03.06.2010
23.06.2011
07.06.2012
30.05.2013
19.06.2014
04.06.2015
26.05.2016
15.06.2017
31.05.2018
20.06.2019
11.06.2020
03.06.2021
16.06.2022
08.06.2023
30.05.2024
19.06.2025
04.06.2026
27.05.2027
15.06.2028
31.05.2029
20.06.2030

Feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s deliverance from the pit

Feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s deliverance from the pit

 

In the year 301 AD, the deliverance of St. Gregory the Illuminator from the pit, was the catalyst that began the “Great Conversion” of Armenia from the darkness of paganism to the Light of Christianity.

Following the martyrdom of the Christian nuns, led by St. Hripsime and St. Gayane, upon the order of the Armenian pagan King Tiridates, the ruler becomes seriously ill. The sister of the king, Khosrovidoukht, has a dream where it is revealed to her that the only remedy for the king’s condition is to free St. Gregory, still imprisoned in the dungeon, and that he alone could cure the malady. Thirteen years following his imprisonment in the “deep pit” of Artashat, the royal court submits to the request of Khosrovidoukht and frees the Christian Gregory. With the intercession of Gregory’s prayers, the king recovers, Gregory becomes the patron saint of the Armenian Church, and Tiridates, and his wife - Queen Ashkhen, become ardent supporters in Gregory’s efforts to preach Christianity throughout Armenia, and baptize the Armenian nation.

Pagan temples and statues are destroyed in Armenia, and replaced with Dominical Crosses in their locations. Christianity is proclaimed by the King and the Catholicos to be the state religion of Armenia, the first nation in the world to do so. St. Gregory is sent to Caesarea, where he is consecrated as the first Pontiff of the Armenian Church, and becomes the first Catholicos of All Armenians.

The feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Deliverance from the Pit is one of the greatest of the Armenian Church. A solemn Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all Armenian Churches on this day.

When is celebrated

24.05.2008
13.06.2009
05.06.2010
25.06.2011
09.06.2012
01.06.2013
21.06.2014
06.06.2015
28.05.2016
17.06.2017
02.06.2018
22.06.2019
13.06.2020
05.06.2021
18.06.2022
10.06.2023
01.06.2024
21.06.2025
06.06.2026
29.05.2027
17.06.2028
02.06.2029
22.06.2030

Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin

Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin

 

 

One of the most celebrated feasts of the Armenian Church is the day when the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was established, according to the inspired vision of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

According to tradition, and hagiographic sources, following the declaration of Christianity as the Official Religion of Armenia in 301 AD, St. Gregory has a famous vision, wherein the Only Begotten Son of God – Jesus Christ, descends from Heaven, his face lit aglow, and with the strike of a golden hammer designates the site where the Mother Cathedral for the entire Armenian nation is to be founded. Hence, the name of the spiritual center for the Armenians, “Etchmiadzin”, means “the Descent of the Only Begotten” (Etch - descent, mi - only, dzin - begotten.)

St. Gregory relayed the story about his vision to the Armenian King Tiridates, under whose royal auspices and support the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was built.  King Tiridates and Queen Ashkhen participated in the construction, as did the entire capital city of Vagharshapat by bringing stones from the biblical mountain of Ararat to lay the foundations.  In the site marked by Christ, a Holy Altar of Descent was built.
According of Patriarch Malachia Ormanian, from the days of her establishment, the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin has been the residence of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.  Thus, it is the Mother See of the Armenian Church, and as such, her universal, spiritual and administrative headquarters. 

Another title bestowed upon the cathedral is “Catholic” - not to be confused with the Roman Catholic faith.  Catholic is a Greek word meaning “Universal”. Theologically, the cathedral has been called “catholic” as a description of the catholicity (universality) of the Church.

The feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin is celebrated 64 days following Easter.  A Divine Liturgy is celebrated, and during services, a special hymn is sung, written by the eighth century Catholicos Sahak of Dzorap, telling of St. Gregory’s vision and the Cathedral’s construction.

When is celebrated

25.05.2008
14.06.2009
06.06.2010
26.06.2011
10.06.2012
02.06.2013
22.06.2014
07.06.2015
29.05.2016
18.06.2017
03.06.2018
23.06.2019
14.06.2020
06.06.2021
19.06.2022
11.06.2023
02.06.2024
22.06.2025
07.06.2026
30.05.2027
18.06.2028
03.06.2029
23.06.2030

Commemoration of the Children of Bethlehem, Acacius the Witness, Movkima the Priest and Kotriatos the Soldier

Commemoration of the Children of Bethlehem, Acacius the Witness, Movkima the Priest and Kotriatos the Soldier

 

In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we read about the slaying of the innocent children prior to the birth of Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Men, who had come from the East to Jerusalem, spread the news of the birth of a “baby born to be the king of the Jews”. When this news reached Heron, King of Judea, he became very troubled. As a result of his jealousy and rage in not being able to locate the newborn baby, the King orders the death of all male children in Bethlehem who are two years old and younger. The blood of the innocent children became the first blood shed for the sake of Christ. The Armenian Church has dedicated many church hymns and songs to the memory of the Children of Bethlehem, and they are commemorated on the Monday following the Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The same day the Armenian Church celebrates the memory of three saints, martyred for the sake of Christianity - Acacius the Witness, Movkima the Priest and Kotriatos the Soldier.According to “Haysmavourk”, Acacius was martyred for the faith during the reign of the Emperor Likianos.  Being subjected to indescribable torments and managing to survive surrounded by wild beasts, the saint was beheaded in 310 AD.

Movkima the Priest, Byzantine by birth, was the son of a high-ranking Christian officer. Being a devout preacher of Christianity, he was subjected to many torments by the governor of the city Ampipolis of Macedonia. Later, he was sent to Byzantium, where he was condemned to death by beheading. Emperor Constantine would later build a magnificent church over the tomb of the saint.

Kotriatos the Soldier was martyred as a result of persecutions by the pagan King Dekos. Considering himself to be a “servant of the Heavenly King”, the brave saint endured many tortures through the strength of his Christian faith and became an example for others to remain steadfast in times of trouble. Kotriatos was also put to death by beheading.

When is celebrated

26.05.2008
15.06.2009
07.06.2010
27.06.2011
11.06.2012
03.06.2013
23.06.2014
08.06.2015
30.05.2016
19.06.2017
04.06.2018
24.06.2019
15.06.2020
07.06.2021
20.06.2022
12.06.2023
03.06.2024
23.06.2025
08.06.2026
31.05.2027
19.06.2028
04.06.2029
24.06.2030

Commemoration of St. Nooneh and St. Maneh

Commemoration of St. Nooneh and St. Maneh

 

St. Nooneh and St. Mane were two of the companions of St. Hripsime, who being persecuted by the King Dioklethianos, had left Rome and reached to Armenia. However, the nuns were not destined to die together with their companions.

Reaching Armenia together with her companions St. Mane left them and went to the Mountian Sepouh, in Ekeghyats region, where remaining isolated in a cave, lived an ascetic life. St. Mane lived an “angel’s life”, strengthened by means of prayers and divine consolation, and later the cave was called by her name “Mane’s cave”. Hagiographer presents interesting information concerning the last days of life of St. Maneh. During that same period St. Gregory the Illuminator also wished to leave the society and to live his last days in seclusion. With that goal he went to the Mountain Daraghanyats and chose as a place for living the same cave in which Mane was living an ascetic life. Approaching the cave, he heard the voice of the nun asking to return to the cave three days later. Respecting the wish of the nun, St Gregory returned to the cave three days later and finding the nun dead, buried her body in the cave in 323.

The nun St. Nooneh (in the Georgian sources Nino) escaping the persecutions of the Armenian King Tiridates, left for Georgia, the capital city of Metskhita. There she continued to live a prayerful life and preached the Gospel, as the result of which the entire nation was converted to Christianity. Becoming famous for the miracles she worked and for her philanthropic activity, Nooneh was taken to the royal palace, where she healed the sick queen. Refusing of all precious gifts, Nooneh continued preaching the Gospel. The Georgian King Mihran, immediately feeling the might of the unknown to him God, was converted to Christianity. The Gospel was preached also to the state officials of the country. As the result of all these events, upon the advice of Nooneh a delegation was sent to the Armenian Pontiff St. Gregory the Illuminator and the Armenian King Tiridates asking to send clergy for performing baptism and realizing spiritual service. Thus, St. Nooneh became the apostle of Georgia.

When is celebrated

27.05.2008
16.06.2009
08.06.2010
28.06.2011
12.06.2012
04.06.2013
24.06.2014
09.06.2015
31.05.2016
20.06.2017
05.06.2018
25.06.2019
16.06.2020
08.06.2021
21.06.2022
13.06.2023
04.06.2024
24.06.2025
09.06.2026
01.06.2027
20.06.2028
05.06.2029
25.06.2030

Commemoration of St. Princes Sahak and Hovsep and St. Martyrs Sarkiss and Bagos

Commemoration of St. Princes Sahak and Hovsep and St. Martyrs Sarkiss and Bagos

 

St. Sahak and St. Hovsep were the sons of the prince Kice. The prince Kice had married a Christian Armenian woman in Karin and had allowed her to maintain her Christian faith and to educate their sons in the spirit of Christian faith. However, some years later the authorities become aware of the two brothers’ being Christian, and as their father was Moslem, they are forced to adopt Islam. However, even despite their father’s exhorts to adopt Islam only fictively, Sahak and Hovsep remain unshaken in their faith and are decapitated in 808.

Roman noblemen Sarkiss and Bagos were high-ranking officials serving in the palace of Byzantine king. For refusing to participant in a heathen ceremony Sarkiss and Bagos were subjected to severe torments, and nevertheless remained loyal to the Christian faith. As the result of torments Bagos was martyred, and Sarkiss was imprisoned and decapitated in North Syria in 300.

When is celebrated

29.05.2008
18.06.2009
10.06.2010
30.06.2011
14.06.2012
06.06.2013
26.06.2014
11.06.2015
02.06.2016
22.06.2017
07.06.2018
27.06.2019
18.06.2020
10.06.2021
23.06.2022
15.06.2023
06.06.2024
26.06.2025
11.06.2026
03.06.2027
22.06.2028
07.06.2029
27.06.2030

Commemoration of St. Nersess the Great and St. Bishop Khad

Commemoration of St. Nersess the Great and St. Bishop Khad

 

St. Nersess the Great, Catholicos of All Armenians (353-373) is one of the most prominent Armenian Pontiffs. According to historical sources he is from the family and lineage of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and grandson of the Armenian Patriarch Houssik.

Following the death of Catholicos Paren I (of Ashtishat), Nersess is a chamberlain (chief attendant or steward) for the Armenian King Arshak.  Although a layman at the time, he is found to be the most deserving candidiate for the throne of the Catholicos, and under the compulsion of the King is ordained as a priest, and consecrated as Catholicos. The Armenian Pontiff becomes the first great reformer of the Church and a renowned benefactor of his nation. Upon Nersess’ initiative, a National Ecclesiastical Council is convened in Ashtishat in 354. Upon his initiative, decisions are made which are intended to regulate and bring order to the spiritual-ecclesiastical life, based upon the defined moral principles of the family. Nersess the Great establishes numerous monasteries and schools. He builds hospices, residences and hospitals for the ill, homeless and the poor. The Catholicos was always with his flock. The Armenian people won the battle of Dzirav due to St. Nersess’ unceasing prayers for victory on a nearby mountaintop, as the war was being waged on the field below.
For his devout activity Nersess the Great is also called the “Illuminator of Hearts”.

Bishop Khad was a supporter of Nersess the Great, and was instrumental in the implementation of the Catholicos’ initiatives and undertakings. Historian Pavstos Buzand identifies Bishop Khad as the coadjutor of the Armenian Pontiff, St. Nersess the Great.

When is celebrated

31.05.2008
20.06.2009
12.06.2010
02.07.2011
16.06.2012
08.06.2013
28.06.2014
13.06.2015
04.06.2016
24.06.2017
09.06.2018
29.06.2019
20.06.2020
12.06.2021
25.06.2022
17.06.2023
08.06.2024
28.06.2025
13.06.2026
05.06.2027
24.06.2028
09.06.2029
29.06.2030

Eve of the Fast of St. Gregory the Illuminator

Eve of the Fast of St. Gregory the Illuminator

 

This is the Sunday preceding the week prior to the feast of Discovery of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s relic, in the 5th century, lasting from Monday to Friday.

When is celebrated

01.06.2008
21.06.2009
13.06.2010
03.07.2011
17.06.2012
09.06.2013
29.06.2014
14.06.2015
05.06.2016
25.06.2017
10.06.2018
30.06.2019
21.06.2020
13.06.2021
26.06.2022
18.06.2023
09.06.2024
29.06.2025
14.06.2026
06.06.2027
25.06.2028
10.06.2029
30.06.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Epiphanius the Cypriot, (Bishop of Cyprus) Babylas the Patriarch and his three Disciples

Commemoration of Sts. Epiphanius the Cypriot, (Bishop of Cyprus) Babylas the Patriarch and his three Disciples

 

St. Epiphanius the Cypriot (315-403 A.D.) is one of the famous Archimandrites of the Universal Church and in the Armenian Apostolic Church his memory is celebrated as one of the twelve archimandrites.

St. Epiphanius was born in Palestine. During his life he was known for his love and mercy towards the poor, his honest life and numerous literary works. He struggled against various heresies, in Egypt – against gnosticism, in Rome - against some theories of Vorogines. He was the greatest defender of orthodox doctrine and Nicene Creed. During the Bishop’s Council, convened in 367 A.D., he was elected to be the Chief Bishop of Cyprus.

St. Epiphanius has left rich literary legacy. He is the author of biblical interpretations, theological works, speeches, denials of sects, and the majority of his works have been translated also into Armenian still in the middle ages.

According to “Haysmavourk” Babylas was the Pontiff of Antioch (283-284 A.D.) and was known for his devotion and ascetic life. When King Noumerianos comes to Antioch and after offering a sacrifice to the pagan idols wishes to enter the Church of God and blaspheme it. But the Pontiff Babylas, meeting the King near the entrance to the Church, prohibits him to enter the church. The King, getting furious, puts the Pontiff into the prison and subjecting to torments, wishes to force him to offer sacrifice to the idols. Three young disciples of the Pontiff visit the prison, and the King imprisons them, too, and subjects to torments. However, the King’s efforts were in vain, as four of them all the time worshipped the only and true God. Finally, the Pontiff and his disciples are beheaded.

When is celebrated

02.06.2008
22.06.2009
14.06.2010
04.07.2011
18.06.2012
10.06.2013
30.06.2014
15.06.2015
06.06.2016
26.06.2017
11.06.2018
01.07.2019
22.06.2020
14.06.2021
27.06.2022
19.06.2023
10.06.2024
30.06.2025
15.06.2026
07.06.2027
26.06.2028
11.06.2029
01.07.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Constantine (Kostandianos) the Emperor and his mother Helen

Commemoration of Sts. Constantine (Kostandianos) the Emperor and his mother Helen

 

King Kostandianos (born in the city Nish, in Yugoslavia), is one of the most prominent figures of the Roman Empire. It was he who officially released the Church from persecutions lasting more than 250 years and in 313 A.D., by the Encyclical of Milan, proclaimed Christianity to be a permitted religion. It was during the period of his reign that the first Ecumenical Council of 325 A.D. was convened, which condemned Arius and adopted the word “Birth” to show that the Holy Son has the same nature as the Holy Father and is God. King Kostandianos has supported the construction of magnificent Churches and Cathedrals in the Holy Sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

King Kostandianos was also a renowned captain, who always won in the battles. According to the tradition, while at war with the impostor King Maxentios, before the decisive battle, he had the vision of the Holy Cross. With the sign of the Holy Cross he faced the battle and won. King Kostandianos passed away in 337 A.D., and at death’s door he was baptized according to the Christian rite.

Queen Helen, mother of the King Kostandianos, was the supporter of the king’s pious activity. The discovery of the wooden Holy Cross in 327 A.D. is ascribed to the Queen. A man named Judah, pointed out the Queen the site, where the wooden crosses of Christ and the two brigands could be. According to the tradition, for finding the Lord’s Holy Cross the pious queen approached the corpse of a young man to the crosses. The magic power of Christ’s Holy Cross raised the man from the dead and he revived. After the discovery of the Holy Cross the Pontiff Kyouregh of Jerusalem rose the cross for the faithful to see. Queen Helene has ordered to build numerous churches and nunneries in Jerusalem and around the city and brought her services there. Queen Helene passed away in 330 A.D.

When is celebrated

03.06.2008
23.06.2009
15.06.2010
05.07.2011
19.06.2012
11.06.2013
01.07.2014
16.06.2015
07.06.2016
27.06.2017
12.06.2018
02.07.2019
23.06.2020
15.06.2021
28.06.2022
20.06.2023
11.06.2024
01.07.2025
16.06.2026
08.06.2027
27.06.2028
12.06.2029
02.07.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Theodotus of Galatia, Thalelaus the Physician and seven martyred Virgins of Ancyra

Commemoration of Sts. Theodotus of Galatia, Thalelaus the Physician and seven martyred Virgins of Ancyra

 

St. Theodotus from Galatia has been martyred as the result of persecutions by the King Dioklethianos. Being a wine tradesman, he seemed the persecutors to be less dubious, thanks to which he managed to help and support the persecuted Christians. He provided wine for the divine services, buried the remains of the martyrs. When upon the order of the prefect of Galatia seven Christian virgins - Tekousa, Alexandra, Kloida, Penna, Euprasia, Matrona and Judita, among whom was also the Aunt of Theodotus, were drowned, Theodotus, with the help of other Christians, manages to secretly bring out the virgins’ bodies from the water and bury them. However, his deed becomes known and persecutions against Christians become more severe. For saving the faithful Christians Theodotus surrenders to heathens and is beheaded after severe torments.

The same day is the day of commemoration of St. Thalelaus physician. Enduring the most severe torments, the blissed saint converts to his faith even the executioners. He is thrown into the see, but is miraculously saved from drowning and finally is martyred by means of beheading.

When is celebrated

05.06.2008
25.06.2009
17.06.2010
07.07.2011
21.06.2012
13.06.2013
03.07.2014
18.06.2015
09.06.2016
29.06.2017
14.06.2018
04.07.2019
25.06.2020
17.06.2021
30.06.2022
22.06.2023
13.06.2024
03.07.2025
18.06.2026
10.06.2027
29.06.2028
14.06.2029
04.07.2030

Commemoration Day of the discovery of the Relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator

Commemoration Day of the discovery of the Relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator

 

 

The Commemoration Day of the discovery of the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator is one of the three significant feast days dedicated to the memory of the Patron Saint of Armenia.

According to Holy Tradition, following Armenia’s conversion to Christianity, in his final years, St. Gregory led an ascetic life in the cave of Mane on the Mountain named Sepuh where he died in 326 A.D.  Shepherds, finding his body, buried him not recognizing the Armenian Pontiff.  One of his students, Garnik from Basen sees a vision, where Gregory identifies the location of his relics.  The relics were thereupon transferred to the village of Tordan, in the province of Daranagh, and buried there.

The relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator are one of our most revered within the Armenian Church, as well as all Christian Churches.  Following their discovery, some were taken to various places for safekeeping, among them Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Byzantium, and Italy.  The Right Hand of the Saint, preserved in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, is one of the most important sanctities of the Armenian Church, and is used by the Catholicos of All Armenians during the blessing of the Holy Chrism (Muron). To commemorate the day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in our Churches. 

When is celebrated

07.06.2008
27.06.2009
19.06.2010
09.07.2011
23.06.2012
15.06.2013
05.07.2014
20.06.2015
11.06.2016
01.07.2017
16.06.2018
06.07.2019
27.06.2020
19.06.2021
02.07.2022
24.06.2023
15.06.2024
05.07.2025
20.06.2026
12.06.2027
01.07.2028
16.06.2029
06.07.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Antoninus, Theophilus, Anicetus and Potinus

Commemoration of Sts. Antoninus, Theophilus, Anicetus and Potinus

 

This day commemorates four saints of the Christian Church. St. Antoninus lived in Alexandria in the third century.  He was arrested following his open declaration of being a Christian, and since he would not offer sacrifices to idols.  He was subjected to severe torments and then thrown into a fire to be burned alive.  He said to his captors prior to his death, “Remember that you have a soul given to you by God; see that you present it pure before the Lord.”

Deacon Theophilus from Libya was a successor to St. Stephen the Protomartyr.  He was martyred during the reign of the idolater Emperor Maximianus, for his fearless preaching of the Christian Gospel.

Two noblemen from Nicomedia, Anicetus and his nephew Potinus, attending a ceremony of the reading of Emperor Diocletian’s persecutions which awaited Christians, boldly emerge from the crowd and loudly confess their faith before the Emperor.  Following three years of imprisonment and cruel torture, they remain loyal to Christ.  As a result, the blessed saints are burnt alive together with other martyrs.

When is celebrated

09.06.2008
29.06.2009
21.06.2010
11.07.2011
25.06.2012
17.06.2013
07.07.2014
22.06.2015
13.06.2016
03.07.2017
18.06.2018
08.07.2019
29.06.2020
21.06.2021
04.07.2022
26.06.2023
17.06.2024
07.07.2025
22.06.2026
14.06.2027
03.07.2028
18.06.2029
08.07.2030

Commemoration of the Prophet Daniel, and his Companions Sts. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

 

Commemoration of the Prophet Daniel, and his Companions Sts. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

 

The Prophet Daniel is one of the four great prophets of the Old Testament. Nearly all that is known concerning the Prophet is derived from the book ascribed to him, which dates back to the VII-VI centuries B.C.

Daniel, a young man who had been captured during the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah was taken to Babylon. There, he receives his education in Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s royal court. Soon after, due to his intellect and talents, he is given a high-ranking position in the king’s chancellery.

Daniel becomes famous when he rescues an innocent woman from the unfounded slander of two men. Having gained greater notoriety, Daniel interprets a dream had by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s successes arise the envy of the other servants in the royal court. They accuse him of worshipping false gods and demand that the King imprison the prophet.  Daniel is thrown into a den of lions. The following day, the king approaches the pit to mourn the death of his devoted and wise servant. He is surprised to hear the Prophet Daniel responding to his cries of sorrow. Daniel tells the king that God sealed the mouths of the lions to protect him from harm. Daniel continues, saying that he is innocent, and has not wronged the king by his worship of God. The king is overjoyed, and orders that Daniel be released from the lions’ den.

Three young men and companions of Daniel – Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, were also taken to Babylon.  Upon their arrival they received new names - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and were raised and educated in the royal court together with the prophet and protected their faith. Once, during a solemn festival, as everyone worshipped King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down before it. The king orders the three men thrown into a blazing furnace for the disobedience.  Instead of burning, however, they continue to render glory to God and are protected by an angel of heaven. Witnessing the miracle, the king releases the three young men, blesses them, and worships God as well.

When is celebrated

10.06.2008
30.06.2009
22.06.2010
12.07.2011
26.06.2012
18.06.2013
08.07.2014
23.06.2015
14.06.2016
04.07.2017
19.06.2018
09.07.2019
30.06.2020
22.06.2021
05.07.2022
27.06.2023
18.06.2024
08.07.2025
23.06.2026
15.06.2027
04.07.2028
19.06.2029
09.07.2030

 

 

 

Feast of the Holy Translators St. Sahak and St. Mesrop

Feast of the Holy Translators St. Sahak and St. Mesrop

 

Catholicos St. Sahak Partev and Archimandrite St. Mesrop (Vardapet) Mashtots are the founders of Armenian literature and ecclesiastical bibliography.

St. Sahak Partev was the elder son of Catholicos St. Nersess the Great, and the last Catholicos of the Armenian Church who descended from the lineage of St. Gregory the Illuminator.  He became Catholicos of All Armenians in 387 A.D., and reigned for an astounding 52 years. Being talented in music, and educated in the rhetorical arts, philosophy and linguistics, St. Sahak greatly contributed to the development of Armenian national culture. He was the strongest advocate for the creation of an Armenian Alphabet, and became its chief patron.
St. Mesrop Mashtots was born in 360 A.D. and studied the Greek and Persian languages from childhood.  He initially served as a scribe in the royal court. Leaving secular life behind, he becomes a monk and lives an ascetic life.  During his preaching of the Gospel, St. Mesrop feels the necessity to create a distinct Armenian Alphabet and to have the Holy Bible translated into Armenian. For in those years, the Bible was only available in Greek and Syriac. In Armenia, there once were ciphers, or symbols, which were used by the former pagan priests. Following the Great Conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity, the symbols fell into disuse, and the only remaining copy was in Mesopotamia with a bishop named Daniel the Syrian. Upon the order of King Vramshapouh, the symbols are brought to Armenia from Bishop Daniel. However, while teaching his new students by means of those symbols for a short period of time, Mesrop soon finds them to be lacking, as they were imperfect and defective. Together with his students he departs for Mesopotamia, and visits the cities of Antioch, Edessa, and Samosata, to conduct further research. In 404/405 A.D., St. Mesrop creates the Armenian Alphabet through Divine Grace.  For the first time in the history of the nation, the Armenian people had a specific and distinctive alphabet.

Following the creation of the Armenian Alphabet, St. Sahak and St. Mesrop opened a school for translators in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin). There they begin the translation of the Holy Bible into Armenian and did it so perfectly, that centuries hence the Armenian Translation is called the “Queen Translation of the Breath of God”. The first sentence translated from the Holy Bible is the opening verse of the Book of Proverbs: “To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding”.
St. Mesrop Mashtots passed away in Vagharshapat, and was buried in his home village of Oshakan.  According to tradition, during the entire journey of transferring the remains of

St. Mesrop to Oshakan, a canopy of light fell upon the pilgrims and accompanied them until they reached the tomb. The Church of St. Mesrop Mashtots, which exists to this day, was built over his grave.

When is celebrated

12.06.2008
02.07.2009
24.06.2010
14.07.2011
28.06.2012
20.06.2013
10.07.2014
25.06.2015
16.06.2016
06.07.2017
21.06.2018
11.07.2019
02.07.2020
24.06.2021
07.07.2022
29.06.2023
20.06.2024
10.07.2025
25.06.2026
17.06.2027
06.07.2028
21.06.2029
11.07.2030