February

Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-29
St. Theodoros the Captain is a Saint recognized by all traditional churches of Christendom. The Armenian Church commemorates this Saint on the first Saturday during the period of Great Lent.

According to hagiographers, St. Theodoros was born to God-fearing and pious parents in the village of Saroo, near the town of Amasia. He was a soldier in the Roman Army, and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a Captain.

In the beginning of the fourth century, Rome was under the rule of the Emperor Diocletian. Instead of worshipping at the temple of the pagan goddess Rea, as he had been instructed to, St. Theodoros burns the temple to the ground, thus demonstrating that pagan idols were false. For this act, Diocletian imprisons St. Theodoros, and he suffers severe tortures. In the year 306 A.D., he is martyred by being set on fire.

St. Theodoros is also known as the “Slayer of the Dragon”, as he was said to have defeated a great and mighty dragon due to his courage and faith.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2021-02-20 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2022-03-05 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2023-02-25 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2024-02-17 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2025-03-08 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2026-02-21 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2027-02-13 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2028-03-04 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2029-02-17 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

2030-03-09 Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain

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About the Great Lent

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-24
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This year the period of Great Lent starts on February 16. It lasts 48 days beginning on the Eve of Great and lasts till the Eve of the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Easter). This year the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated on April 5.

During the fasting period people eat exceptionally food of vegetable origin.
During the fasting period people not only refuse of certain kinds of food, but also of ill habits – talkativeness, lying, swearing and other sins.
Refusing from food without avoiding of sins is useless. “Satan always fasts, it does not eat anything and however, it does not and is not tired of sinning,” says St Gregory of Tatev. During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says the following about fasting: “Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly.” (Mt 6:16-18). Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us the way of fasting. As disease makes influence on the body in the same way sin makes influence on the soul. It is not fasting that atones the sin. It is God that gives absolution to sins. However, fasting is important in giving absolution to sins. Repentance, prayer and confession are the main conditions for receiving absolution of sins.
Forty days of fasting period symbolize Christ’s 40-day lasting period of abstinence and repentance in the desert. After His baptism Jesus “was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil and in those days he did eat nothing” (Lk 4:1-3). Jesus subjected Himself to abstinence for the salvation of mankind, He repented instead of mankind so that penitence of all those who fast should gain sense and be realized by means of His abstinence. Another period of fasting lasting for a week follows the 40-day fasting period. It is the Holy Week. That is why the forty-day called fasting period lasts 48 days.
The period of Great Lent consists of seven remarkable Sundays: Eve of Great Lent, Sunday of Expulsion, Sunday of the Lost (Prodigal) Son, Sunday of the Steward, Sunday of the Judge, Sunday of Advent and Palm Sunday.
The 24th day or the fourth Wednesday of the period of Great Lent is called Mijink symbolizing that first half of the period of Great Lent has already passed. This year Mijink is on March 11. That day fasting is not stopped. According to folk tradition the housewives bake unleavened cake and put a coin in it while baking. The current year will be successful for the member of the family who will have the coin in his/her portion.
According to ancient traditions marriage and offering sacrifice were forbidden during the period of Great Lent. However, by the pontifical encyclical of Vazken A Catholicos of all Armenians it was permitted in case of extreme necessity to perform the sacrament of marriage during the period of Great Lent and on Sundays except all days of the Holy Week.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-03-04 About the Great Lent

2028-02-28 About the Great Lent

2026-02-16 About the Great Lent

2024-02-12 About the Great Lent

2022-02-28 About the Great Lent

2021-02-15 About the Great Lent

2023-02-20 About the Great Lent

2025-03-03 About the Great Lent

2027-02-08 About the Great Lent

2029-02-12 About the Great Lent

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Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-23
The Armenian Church has defined the period of Great Lent as a time of abstinence and repentance for the faithful. Each Sunday during this period is named after an event in the Holy Bible that contains the message of the day. According to the calendar, the days prior to weekly fasts, as well as Great Lent, (with the exception of the fast preceding Holy Nativity) are called Barekendan. The word Barekendan means “good living” or “good life”, as we are called to live cheerfully, joyfully, and to be happy on these days preceding fasting periods.

On these days of Barekendan, the angel’s words addressed to the prophet Elijah are fulfilled: “Arise and eat, otherwise the journey will be too great for you” (1 Kings 19:7). The Armenian Church thus allows her faithful to organize games, festivals, carnivals and large, plentiful meals to observe the feast, as it is followed by a period of fasting and abstinence.

The Eve of Great Lent, as Great Barekendan is also called, commemorates the human bliss, which Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. It also symbolizes the heavenly right, according to which, mankind could eat all types of fruit, except the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Barekendan is the manifestation of the virtues of the soul, through which people can transform mourning to joy, and torment to peace. It is with this comprehension, with bowing of our souls, penitence, fasting and hope for mercy, that each Christian individual should take his first step on the long, 40 day journey of Great Lent, culminating with the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The period starting from the day following the Great Barekendan and lasting till the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is called Great Lent. In the period of the Great Lent, people, refraining from bodily pleasures and sins, get prepared for the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ by means of abstinence and repentance. Both spiritual and moral and bodily abstinence are considered to be important.Our church fathers have called the period of the Great Lend as “Karasnordats”, as the period of fasting lasts 40 days. This period of the Great Lent is also called “Salt and bread”, as in the past during the period of the Great Lent people have eaten only salt and bread.

In the New and old Testaments there are many testimonies concerning the period of Great Lent. Moses fasted for forty days and only then received the Lord’s rules and canons. However, this period is related to 40-day period of temptation of Christ in the desert, following which our Church fathers established this period of fasting.

Fasting may be of three kinds: usual fasting, rigorous abstinence and absolute fasting. In case of usual fasting people can eat only food of vegetable origin. In case of rigorous fasting people refuse to eat any food even of vegetable origin. And in case of absolute fasting people refuse to eat any kind of food, including even bread and water.

During the period of the Great Lent curtains in the churches are closed in commemoration of the fact that after sinning Adam was exiled from Eden and the doors were closed before him.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates
2021-02-14 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2022-02-27 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2023-02-19 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2024-02-11 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2025-03-02 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2026-02-15 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2027-02-07 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2028-02-27 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2029-02-11 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

2030-03-03 Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

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Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-22
During different periods of history the Ecumenical Church has faced various problems of doctrinal, administrative and organizational nature, solutions to which have been provided during the Ecumenical Councils. One of such councils was the Second Ecumenical Council convened upon the order of the King Theodosios in Constantinople, in 381.

As the result of Arian disputes a new heresy had appeared, the head and supporter of which was Bishop Makedon of Constantinople, who denied the deity of the Holy Spirit. The Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople on that special occasion, re-endorsed the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea and stack for the formulation “One deity, three persons”.

Accepting the Ecumenical Council, the Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates the memory of 150 Patriarchs participating in the Council.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-03-02 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2029-02-10 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2028-02-26 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2027-02-06 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2026-01-24 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2025-03-01 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2024-02-10 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2023-02-18 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2022-02-26 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

2021-02-13 Commemoration of 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople

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Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-20
The Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and his 1036 Companions marks their martyrdom 1551 years ago in the battle of Avarayr, fighting for the freedom of conscience and religion for the Armenian Nation. It was to be the first testimony of many to follow that the Armenians were a people who freely chose Christ, remained steadfast in their Christian faith, and would not betray that faith for any ransom. “Vartanants” as it is commonly called, is one of the most sacred feasts of the Armenian people.

In the Armenian Church, the Feast day of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions is also celebrated as the Naming Day of His Holiness Karekin II. To mark the occasion, at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, a Pontifical Prayer is offered before the Holy Altar of Descent.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2021-02-11 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2022-02-24 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2023-02-16 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2024-02-08 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2025-02-27 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2026-02-12 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2027-02-04 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2028-02-24 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2029-02-08 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

2030-02-28 Feast of St. Vartan the Captain and Companions

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Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-18
The Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions is dedicated to the blessed memory of the Armenian priests who fought alongside St. Vartan and the entire Armenian Nation for their Christian faith in 451 A.D. in the Battle of Avarayr.

The eldest among them was Priest St. Ghevond, and among his companions were Catholics Hovsep, Bishop Sahak of Syunik, Bishop Tatik of Basen, Priest Mushe or Mushegh, Priest Arshen, Priest Samuel, Deacons Abraham and Kajajn.

After the Battle of Avarayr the Persian King Hazkert took revenge on Armenians and ordered to kill the brave priests.

According to the tradition the day of the Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions is the day of the clergy.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-26 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2029-02-06 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2028-02-22 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2027-02-02 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2026-02-10 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2025-02-25 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2024-02-06 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2023-02-13 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2022-02-22 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

2021-02-09 Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest and His Companions

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Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-17
St. Mark was the Bishop of Aritus in the half of the 4th century. Famous theological doctrines are ascribed to him. During the period of reign of the king Julianus the Betrayer he was subjected to torments, then he was exiled to a remote island, where he passed away dedicating the last years of his life to Christian preaching.

Priest St. Pion also has been one of the devoted advocates of Christianity. It is known that he has served in Smyrna, where he has been martyred for preaching Christianity.

Deacon St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin have been martyred for the sake of Christian faith. Accusing Kyouregh (Cyril) in destroying heathen temples, Julianus the Betrayer allowed the heathen priests to judge him and the heathen priests subjected him to severe torments. Deacon St. Benjamin was martyred during the period of reign of the Persian king Hazkert I for preaching Christianity among the Persians.

Among the victims martyred during the period of reign of the King Hazkert I were Vormzdana, minister of the Persian royal palace, and Sayen, a Persian noble. Both of them being deprived of royal and noble pleasures and privileges continued to remain loyal to Christian faith and were martyred for the sake of Christian faith.

Abdlmseh was the son of rich Jews living in Persia. While pasturing his father’s cattle Abdlmseh was acquainted with other Christians of the same age, who baptized him and renamed Abdlmseh, which means “Servant of Christ.” Becoming aware of his son’s converting to Christianity and not succeeding to force him to renounce of Christianity, his father stabbed him in the same place where the saint had been baptized.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-25 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2029-02-05 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2028-02-21 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2027-02-01 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2026-02-09 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2025-02-24 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2024-02-05 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2023-02-06 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2022-02-21 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

2021-02-08 Commemoration of Bishop St. Mark, Priest St. Pion, Deacons St. Kyouregh (Cyril) and St. Benjamin and holy martyrs Sts. Abdlmseh, Vormzdana and Sayen

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Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-15
Pontiff 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.

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”.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2021-02-06 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2022-02-19 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2023-02-11 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2024-02-03 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2025-02-22 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2026-02-07 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2027-01-30 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2028-02-19 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2029-02-03 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

2030-02-23 Commemoration of the Pontiff St. Sahak Partev

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Tiarn’ndaraj

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-14
On February 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple. Tiarn’ndaraj, or Candlemas as it is known in the West, symbolizes the presentation of the 40 day-old Christ Child to the Temple in Jerusalem.

In accordance with the Law of Moses, the infant Christ was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph and presented to God. A man named Simeon was there, to whom it had been revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord. Simeon held the infant in his arms, blessed God, and said, “Lord, let your servant now depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your Salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people. A Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

In the tradition of the Church, Evening Services (Nakhatonak) are conducted on the night preceding the Feast Day. At the conclusion of the service, the priest lights a candle from the Holy Altar, and distributes the flame to all present. With great care, the faithful take the lit candles home to their families.

The morning of the Feast Day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Armenian Churches throughout the world. The hymn offered during the Liturgy commemorating Tiarn’ndaraj glorifies Simeon’s articulation of “a Light to lighten the Gentiles”. The hymn praising Simeon also lauds the Mystery of the Incarnation.

Many additional customs have been inherited from the past, including the blessing of the four corners of the world in the Andastan Service, the blessing of newlywed couples, as well as offering prayers for the crops and fertility of the fields.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2021-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2022-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2023-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2024-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2025-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2026-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2027-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2028-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2029-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

2030-02-14 Tiarn’ndaraj

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Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-13
Sts. Voskians were five ambassadors sent by the Roman emperor to the Armenian king Sanatruk. They came to Armenia in the half of the 1st century, met the Apostle St. Bartholomew and as a result of his preaching they were baptized and converted to Christianity. One of them – Khrussi (in Armenian his name means “Voski” (“Gold”) and hence – the name “Voskians”) was ordained into the holy order of priesthood.

After the martyrdom of the Apostle St. Bartholomew they were isolated in the mountains Tsaghkavet of Tsaghkotn province and led an ascetic life for about 40 years. Being led by the divine message they came to the Armenian royal court to preach Christianity the Armenian king Artashes and the queen Satenik. In the royal court only the relatives of the queen Satenik followed the Voskians. 12 servants of the royal court who had come with the queen Satenik to Armenia from Alans’ country, were baptized in the river Euphrates and left together with the Voskians for the mountains.

Sts. Voskians are among the first martyrs and hermits of the Armenian Apostolic Church.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2022-02-17 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2023-02-09 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2024-02-01 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2025-02-20 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2026-02-05 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2027-01-28 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2028-02-17 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2029-02-01 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

2030-02-21 Commemoration of Sts. Voskian priests

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Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-11

Relatives of the queen Satenik, being the followers of Sts. Voskian priests, later were called Sukiasians, as their leader’s name was Sukias. Not managing to persuade and to return their former servants the Armenian princes took revenge on their preachers – Sts. Voskians and killed them by swords.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2022-02-15 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2023-02-07 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2024-01-30 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2025-02-18 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2026-02-03 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2027-01-26 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2028-02-15 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2029-01-30 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

2030-02-19 Commemoration of Sts. Sukiasianas

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Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-10

Sts. Atomians were the Armenian captains Atom Gnouni and Manajihr Reshtouni who together with their regiments served in the Persian royal court during the period of reign of the idolater king Hazkert. Upon the excitation of archimagi king Hazkert started persecutions against Christians in order to eradicate Christian faith in Persia. Captains Atom Gnouni and Manajihr Reshtouni received an edict from Hazkert inviting the captains together with their regiments to the royal palace with the intention of forcing them to apostasy. At first the Armenian captains obeyed the order, but being aware of the trap prepared by the king they started back home and on their way home they stopped in the province of Andzevatsyats. Becoming aware of the numerous Persian Army persecuting them soldiers of the captain Atom Gnouni, encouraged by the prophesy of a saint hermit living on the mountain preferred voluntary martyrdom. Persian Army reaching the Armenian regiment surrounded them and killed the saints by words. Whereas Manajihr Reshtouni and his soldiers reached his native land – Reshtounik, where he confessed his being Christian and was martyred in 449 AD.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-18 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2029-01-29 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2028-02-15 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2027-01-25 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2026-02-02 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2025-02-17 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2024-01-29 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2023-02-06 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2022-02-15 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

2021-02-01 Commemoration of Sts. Atomians

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Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions St. Sarkis the Captain

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-08
By the order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain and his soldiers-companions is proclaimed day of blessing of the youth.

Captain St. Sarkis is one of the most beloved saints among the Armenian nation. Together with his 14 soldiers-companions he was martyred for the sake of Christian faith.

During the period of reign of the king Kostandianos the Great (285-337) St. Sarkis, being very courageous, was appointed the prince and General in chief of the region of Cappadocia bordering Armenia. When during the period of reign of the king Julianos the Betrayer (360-363) the persecutions against Christians started by God’s will St. Sarkis and his only son – Martyros, came to live in Armenia, and the Armenian king Tiran, grandson of Tiridates, received them very well. From Armenia St. Sarkis and his son went to Persia, and started serving in the army of the Persian king Shapouh as the captain of regiments. Become aware of the fact that Sarkis was Christian the king Shapouh ordered him to worship the fire and offer sacrifice to the heathen gods. But the captain immediately refused to obey the order saying, “We should worship one God - the Holy Trinity, which has created the earth and the heaven. Whereas fire or idols are not gods and the human being may destroy them.” After these words the saint destroyed the temple. The annoyed crowd fell on the saint and his son. First the son of the saint was martyred. The saint was put into prison and remaining unshaken in his faith was beheaded. After the martyrdom of the saint light appeared over his body. 14 soldiers-companions of the saint also were martyred for the sake of Christian faith.

For the Armenian nation St. Sarkis is one of the most beloved. It isn’t casual that St. Mesrop Mashtots brought the relics of the saint to the village Karbi (Ashtarak Region) and the Church of St. Sarkis was built over his relics.

Sts. Atomians were the Armenian captains Atom Gnouni and Manajihr Reshtouni who together with their regiments served in the Persian royal court during the period of reign of the idolater king Hazkert. Upon the excitation of archimagi king Hazkert started persecutions against Christians in order to eradicate Christian faith in Persia. Captains Atom Gnouni and Manajihr Reshtouni received an edict from Hazkert inviting the captains together with their regiments to the royal palace with the intention of forcing them to apostasy. At first the Armenian captains obeyed the order, but being aware of the trap prepared by the king they started back home and on their way home they stopped in the province of Andzevatsyats. Becoming aware of the numerous Persian Army persecuting them soldiers of the captain Atom Gnouni, encouraged by the prophesy of a saint hermit living on the mountain preferred voluntary martyrdom. Persian Army reaching the Armenian regiment surrounded them and killed the saints by words. Whereas Manajihr Reshtouni and his soldiers reached his native land – Reshtounik, where he confessed his being Christian and was martyred in 449 AD.

St. Sarkis, Patron of Youth and love

In Armenia it is accepted to celebrate the Feast of St. Sarkis not only according to church rites and prayer, but also according to various folk traditions. St. Sarkis the Captain is the patron of youth. Many miracles happen thanks to his intercession. On the day of the feast young people pray the saint asking him to make their prayers audible to God. St. Sarkis is the realizer of the love longings.

There are many legends about St. Sarkis and one of them is the following.

Poor bard Gharib loved Shah-Sanam who was the daughter of a very rich man. Shah-Sanam loved him, too, but because the bard was poor, the Shah-Sanam’s father was against their marriage as he wished to marry his daughter to a rich man. Bard Gharib decided to go to foreign countries to earn money and to accumulate wealth. But before leaving for foreign countries bard Gharib asked Shah-Sanam to promise to wait for him for seven years providing that if he were late even for one day the young woman might marry according to her father’s will.

That seven-year-period was a very difficult period for bard Gharib. He couldn’t see his beloved, had no news of her, and nevertheless, he wasn’t disappointed and waited for the time when they would meet, make up family and live together all their life.

Working day and night for seven years bard Gharib accumulated wealth and started his way back to the motherland. However, on his way back he faced many difficulties and hardships. It seemed to him that he wouldn’t be able to reach his beloved. So, he prayed with honest heart and righteous mind for the help of St. Sarkis asking.

Listening the prayer of the bard St. Sarkis immediately appeared sitting on his white horse, seated him on the back of the horse and in one moment brought him to Shah-Sanam. Seeing the bard’s strong will, their sincere and deep love and devotion, Shah-Sanam’s father blessed their union.

Fast of Catechumens established by St. Gregory the Illuminator precedes the feast. On the eve of the feast, in the evening, young people eat salty cookies and relate the appearance of their future bride or bridegroom in their dream to eating of the salty cookie. Also, on the night preceding the feast of St. Sarkis the faithful people place a tray full of gruel before the door believing that while passing near their door at dawn St. Sarkis will leave his footprint on the gruel symbolizing the fulfillment of their dreams.

People in love present each other cards, flowers or sweets on the occasion of the feast.
On the day of the feast a Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all churches named after St. Sarkis. Following the Liturgy a special ceremony of blessing of young people will be offered.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2021-01-30 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2022-02-12 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2023-02-04 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2024-01-27 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2025-02-15 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2026-01-31 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2027-01-23 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2028-02-12 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2029-01-27 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

2030-02-16 Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, Patron of Love and Youth, his son Martyros and his 14 Soldiers-Companions

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Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-07
Prophet Jonah is one of the minor prophets of the Holy Bible. In the Book of Jonah of the Old Testament is a narrative describing the adventures of the Prophet Jonah. By the Lord’s command Jonah was sent to Nineveh to preach the heathens and tried, in every way, to disobey God’s command. However, in the end his attempts were in vain. By the Lord’s command, a large fish swallowed Jonah, and he remained inside the fish for three days and three nights. Only after Jonah’s prayer and redemption did the Lord allow the fish to free Jonah. This time he obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, even the king, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

Later Christ brings the example of the Prophet Jonah to the Pharisees asking for a divine sign.

The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates the memory of the Prophet Jonah always during the period of the fast of Catechumens symbolizing that thanks to sincere repentance one may deserve God’s mercy.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-15 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2029-01-26 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2028-02-11 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2027-01-22 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2026-01-30 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2025-02-13 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2024-01-26 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2023-02-03 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2022-02-11 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

2021-01-29 Commemoration of the Prophet Jonah

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Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-02
The Fast of Catechumens is peculiar only to the Armenian Church. It begins three weeks before the Great Lent. In ancient times people could eat only bread and salt during the fast of Catechumens. On those days it was not allowed to celebrate Divine Liturgy either.

The meaning of the Fast of Catechumens is the purification of the five human senses from pagan impurity. In the ancient Church there was a custom to fast during five days before baptism. St. Gregory the Illuminator ordered King Tiridates and others to fast for five days before baptism in order to get freed of the evil. That is the reason also for fasting of Catechumens to be called “fast of salvation” from the evil.

According to the tradition, the fasting of Catechumens was initiated by St. Gregory the illuminator in memory of the above-mentioned practice.

There are two explanations regarding the name of this feast.
It is called the fast of Catechumens:
1. As the precursor of the Great Lent, and
2. As the first Armenian fast.

On the fifth day of the fasting of Catechumens, on Friday, the remembrance day of the Prophet Jonah is celebrated, but it is celebrated not as the feast of Prophet Jonah, but as the memory of an example of great repentance and abstinence which Jonah urged. At times, wrongly, the fasting of Catechumens was called the fast of St. Sarkis, because the Armenian Church celebrates the feast of St. Sarkis on Saturday following the fast. In Middle Ages the Byzantine and the Georgian Churches blamed the Armenian Church for the fasting of Catechumens, relating it to St. Sarkis, to whom they ascribed sorcery. According to the testimonies of Armenian medieval writers. Greek and Latin Churches also had the fasting of Catechumens in ancient times.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-10 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2029-01-21 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2028-02-06 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2027-01-17 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2026-01-25 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2025-02-09 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2024-01-21 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2023-01-29 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2022-02-06 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

2021-01-24 Eve of the Fast of Catechumens

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Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-02-01

St. Gregory the Theologian has left rich literary heritage, which was translated into Armenian in the 5-8th centuries AD. In all probability St. Moses of Khoronk has made a part of translations into Armenian. St. Gregory the Theologian is one of the most prominent figures of Christianity, who by means of the struggle against Arians has kept Christianity uncorrupted and by means of his works he has greatly influenced the formulation of the Christian theologian ideology.

St. Gregory the Theologian was born in 328 AD in the village Ariangue near the town Naziangue, of Cappadocia. He was the son of the Bishop Gregory. Gregory studied in Caesaria, and then in Athens. In Athens Gregory became acquainted with St. Barsegh of Ceasaria - one of the prominent figures of Christianity in the future. After leading ascetic life for a while, Gregory returned to Naziangue, where he was ordained as a priest by his father. Later he became the Bishop of Sasima. Together with St. Barsegh of Ceasaria St. Gregory the theologian struggled against the Arians. He participated in the 2nd Ecumenical Council of Constantinople. St. Gregory passed away on January 25, 389 AD.


This feast has been and will be on the following dates

2030-02-02 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2029-07-28 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2028-01-29 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2027-07-31 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2026-08-01 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2025-02-01 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2024-08-03 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2023-01-28 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2022-01-29 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

2021-07-31 Commemoration of St. Gregory the Theologian

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