Commemoration of St. Davit of Dvin and Saint Martyrs Dambeos and Dambeuhie

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-30

St. Davit (David) of Dvin has been martyred in 701 A. D. in Armenia. He was from a noble family, his baptismal name was Sourhan. His father was Moslem, and his mother was Christian. He served in the Arabic Army. Coming to Armenia, he becomes Christian, and being baptized by the Catholicos Anastas, is renamed Davit. He has lived in Dvin for 30 years. During that period the Arab policeman Abdoulah starts persecutions against Christians and calls Davit to him and persuades him to convert to his old faith. Refusing to betray Christ and his faith, Davit is subjected to severe torments. The cruel Arab policeman decides to crucify Davit. While carrying out the verdict Davit voluntarily approaches the wooden cross and lies on the cross. Among the people assembled was Davit’s wife, who exhorted him to remain loyal to Christ’s faith. Davit is crucified and martyred. Bishop Amatounie, Moushegh Mamikonian and Artavazd - Davit’s brother, take off his body form the cross and bury him near the Church of St. Grigor of Dvin. In the Armenian Church there is a special church hymn dedicated to St. Davit of Dvin.

Dambeos (Lambeos) and Dambeuhie (Lambeas) have been sister and brother. They have lived in the town Nikomedia during the reign of the King Maximianos. Being Christians, they are imprisoned for not offering sacrifice to the idols and, after being subjected to torments, are martyred in 303 A. D.

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Feast of the Holy Cross of Varague

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-29

All Christian Churches each year solemnly celebrate all feasts dedicated to the Holy Cross. The Armenian Apostolic Church, in difference to the other Christian Churches, celebrates another purely national feast dedicated to the Holy Cross, which is famous as the Holy Cross of Varague. The Armenian Church celebrates this feast two weeks after the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross, that is - the Sunday during the period of September 25 - October 1.

According to the historian Agathangelos, St. Hripsime and her companions, running away from the Roman Emperor Dioklethianos, who started persecutions against Christians, reach to Armenia and find shelter in Vagaharshapat. However, before reaching Vagharshapat they stop at the Mountain Varague, which is to the southeast from the Lake Van. Taking off from her neck the relic of the Lord’s Wooden Cross, St. Hripsime gives it to the praying monks living on the mountain and asks them to preserve it in one of the caves. Thus, the sacred relic remains hidden till the seventh century.

In 653 A. D. the monk Todik and his disciple Hovel pray at the Mountain Varague and ask God to show the place of the relic. Suddenly 12 bright columns appear around the mountain and the sign of the Cross is seen among the columns. For 12 days the bright columns remain visible even from distant sites. This joyful news spreads everywhere.

Nerses the Creator Catholicos who was the Catholicos of All Armenians of that period, and Captain Vard, son the Knight Theodoros, learning about that miracle, go the Mountain Varague to personally witness it. With the support of the Armenian people the Pontiff builds a magnificent church, which in honor of the miracle is named Holy Cross Church. The Pontiff Nerses also writes the marvelous church hymn “By means of the most powerful sign”, which is sung in the churches on the day of the feast.

The sacred relic remains at the Mountain Varague till 1021 A. D. Later the Armenian King Senekerim Artsrouni brings the relic to Sebastia. After the latter’s death the relic is again transferred to its old place and remains there until 1651 A. D. when the relic is taken to Khoshab. In 1655 A. D. the relic is placed in the Church of Holy Godmother, in Van, which is renamed to Church of Holy Sign. The relic was preserved there till 1915 A. D.

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Commemoration of Sts. Gevorg the Captain, Adoktos and Romanos the Singer

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-28

St. Gevorg the Captain (St. George the Warrior) was from Cappadocia. He was born in a pious Christian family. Becoming a soldier of the Roman Army in a short period he deserves the honor of becoming Captain thanks to his courage and devotion. During the council convened by the Roman Emperor Dioklethianos he opposes to his plans on Christians’ execution, and thus the fact that he is Christian, is revealed. The King, becoming surprised and astonished, orders to imprison the Captain and subjects him to severe torments. Many people, among them the Queen Alexandria, become Christians thanks to the preaching of St. George. A magician is ordered to prepare two kinds of remedies for trying the saint and changing his faith. By the first cup the saint should change his mind, and drinking the second cup, he should die. St. Gevorg drinks both cups, but thanks to the power of his faith towards God he remains alive. He also raises a man from the dead.

After the King’s repeated requests St. Gevorg finally agrees to offer sacrifice to the idols. However, reaching the heathen church he breaks all idols one by one. For this act the King orders to behead St. Gevorg and he is martyred in about 303 A. D.

St. Adoktos (Adauctus) has been martyred in 320 A. D., in the Armenian Melitene, during the reign of Maximianos. He has been a state servant in Ephesus. Not willing to marry her daughter – Kalistene, with the Heathen King, he takes her away to the East. For being Christian upon the King’s order he is deprived of his title and property and is exiled to Melitene. The local governor also fails to convert Adoktos to the heathen religion. Remaining steadfast and unshaken in his faith, the saint is beheaded. His wife and the other daughter - Pelopia, bury him. Costantsa - sister of the Emperor Kostandianos, defends and protects Kalistene, he transfers the relics of his father to Ephesus, where a chapel is built over the saint’s tomb of in the future.

St. Romanos the Singer (the Melodist) is considered to be the author and creator of the church hymns’ canons. He has served as a deacon in the Church of St. Sophia, of Constantinople. Many people have mocked at him for his being unable to sing and read well. Once St. Mary appears to him in his dream and giving him a paper roll, orders to eat it. After the dream Romanos is granted the virtue to create and sing church hymns and songs. St. Romanos passes away in 556 A. D.

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Commemoration of Sts. Pontiffs Baragham, Antimos and Yeranos

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-26

St. Baragaham (Barlaam) (250-304) has lived in Antioch and has been martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Dioklethianos. For being Christian he is imprisoned and taken to the court. He refuses to offer sacrifice to the idols, and that fact annoys the judge. He orders to place in the saint’s palm a boiling incense container hoping that the old man will not endure the pain and will pour the incense on the heathen altar for offering sacrifice. However, the honest and pious man, ignoring the pain, holds his arm unmoved till his hand is burnt, and the saint is martyred suffering from severe pains.

St. Antimos (Anthimus) has been the Bishop of Nikomedia. During the reign of the Roman Emperors Dioklethianos and Maximos the Christians are blamed in setting a fire to the royal palace, and persecutions against Christians start. Because of persecutions Antimos is forced to leave the town and live in the mountains. During that period deacon Theophilos is martyred not willing to betray the Bishop Antimos. However, the King finds out the Bishop’s place and sends the soldiers to the mountains ordering to find the saint and to bring him. The soldiers find the saint and although they persuade him not to go with them to Nikomedia, the saint voluntarily returns and goes to the royal court. 20 soldiers, witnessing the saint’s unshaken faith and listening his sermons, are converted to Christianity and are baptized. During the examination in the court the saint gives brave answers, for which he is beheaded after many torments in 303 A. D.

St. Bishop Yeranos (Irenaeus) also has been martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Dioklethianos in the town Sirmia of Panonia. During the trial in the court the saint’s parents and relatives persuade him to feel pity for himself and his children. The saint answers that his children have God as their protector who always takes care of them. He remains unshaken in his faith and does not give up. After severe torments the saint is beheaded.

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Commemoration of Sts. Peprone, Mariane and Shoushan, daughter of Vartan the Great

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-24

St. Peprone was from the town Nisibis and since childhood she had entered the church vowing to renounce from secular life and devote herself to the Church. As St. Hripsime, she also has been subjected to persecutions by the Roman Emperor Diokletianos. When the Emperor’s servants reach the town Nisibis in 305 A. D., the nuns living in the monastery are forced to leave the town, while Peprone, who was ill, stays in the monastery with her teacher Vren and Sister Toumayis. Heathen judge Seghinos tries to persuade the pretty nun to renounce from Christianity and promises to marry her with his noble nephew Lusimakos. In response Peprone tells that she has already become the bride of Christ vowing to remain a virgin and not to marry. Seghinos, becoming annoyed, orders to cut off first her hands and feet and than her head. Lusimakos, witnessing her death, becomes faithful and orders to bury her with proper honors, and Seghinos, witnessing the nun’s indescribable torments, goes mad and commits suicide.

St. Mariane was from Antioch in Pisidia. She was the only daughter of the town’s heathen priest and, losing her mother in childhood, she was brought up a Christian nurse. When she had already grown up, her father wishes to make her a heathen priest. The young woman refuses to renounce Christ and to serve the idols. Her father turns her off his house and she goes to her nurse. But soon she is imprisoned and beheaded.

St. Shoushan was Captain Vardan Mamikonian’s elder daughter. Her real name is Vardenie, but in the Armenian history and hagiography she is known by the name Shoushan. She was married to Vazgen, son of the Georgian consul Asousha. Although they had three sons and one daughter, her husband converts to Persian faith and marries the mother-in-low of the Persian knight Peroz. Shoushan begins to live in a small house near the church and prays all the time, always rejecting her husband’s suggestions to give up her faith and ignoring his threats. Shoushan is persecuted for 7 years, but remains unshaken in her faith. She is martyred in 470 A. D. According to the historian Ukhtanes she is buried in Yourtav.

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Commemoration of Sts. Mamas, Piliktimon and Simeon Stylite

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-23

St. Mamas was born in the town Gangra, of the Province of Paplagonia, in a poor Christian family. During persecutions against Christians his parents are imprisoned and exiled to Caesaria. While giving birth to her son, his mother passes away. A pious Christian woman adopts Mamas and brings him up. Already at the age of 15 he is imprisoned and subjected to severe torments for being a devout Christian and brave preacher. Overcoming the hardships he lives an isolated life on the Mountain Argos. St. Mamas devotes all his life to serving the poor, but is betrayed and handed over to the judge. After severe torments St. Mamas is killed by means of trident in 273 A. D.
St. Piliktimon (Philomenos), known in Greek and Latin sources also by the name Filomenos, was a grain trader. For being Christian he is imprisoned during the period of persecutions by the King Avrelios. He is subjected to torments and is finally martyred in 274 A. D.

St. Simeon the Stylite was born in 390 A. D. in Caesaria. He has been a shepherd. One day he goes to the church and, not understanding the meaning of the Gospel passage read that day, asks about it an old man standing beside him. The old man explains him the meaning of the Gospel passage saying that the passage is about abstinence, that is, it is by means of ascetic way of life, deprivations and fasting that the people should deserve the heavenly kingdom. Thinking over the old man’s words Simeon leaves for the Hata Province, of Syria, where he is isolated in a monastery for three years, after which he asks God to grant him the grace to preach and heal. Seeing that the visitors and the sick cause too much trouble to him, Simeon digs a deep dungeon, from where only his head was seen while preaching, and later he climbs up a high column. He lives without a shelter, only standing or kneeling during the day, and only taking Holy Communion as food once a week. For many years he stays on the column and preaches and heals many sick people by means of prayers.

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Eve of the Fast of the Holy Cross of Varague

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-22

This is the Sunday preceding the week prior to the feast of the Appearance of the Holy Cross on the Mount Varague, lasting from Monday to Friday. Being hidden by St. Hripisime on the Mount Varague, the relic of the Lord’s Wooden Cross was found by a miracle in the 7th century and the Armenian Apostolic Church established another purely national feast dedicated to the Holy Cross, which is famous as the Holy Cross of Varague.

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Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-15

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the last one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the most important feast among the feasts dedicated to the Holy Cross, as it is dedicated to the history of the return of the Holy Cross from imprisonment, its elevation and glorification. In the Armenian Apostolic Church the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is celebrated on Sunday during the period between September 11-17. This year that date is September 17, and the Monday following the Feast is a Memorial Day.

In 610 A. D, the Persian King Khosrov with a large army attacks the Byzantine Empire. Enthusiastic about the initial victory, in 614 A. D. the Persian army enters Jerusalem. Many people are killed and many are imprisoned. Pontiff Zakaria, the Patriarch of Jerusalem is imprisoned, too. However, the Persians are not satisfied and enter the Church of Holy Sepulcher and take the Holy Cross kept in the Church. The Holy Cross had been found and installed in the Church for the Christians to worship by Heghineh, the mother of the King Costandianos, in the beginning of the 4th century.

In 628 A. D., the Byzantine army led by the King Herakles fight against the Persians to return the Holy Cross. The Armenian army regiment, led by Mzhezh Gnounie, supported the Persian army. With the Lord’s help the Byzantine army wins the battle.
The Holy Cross is solemnly brought to the Armenian town Karin, from where it is carried to Constantinople, and then - to Jerusalem. On the way the Holy Cross was raised for the people to see and worship.

For Christians the Cross is God’s power and strength and pride of all prides, on which Christ’s innocent blood was shed. By means of the Cross Jesus proved His love towards mankind, and the Cross became for us the symbol of hope, love and saving.

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Eve of the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-14
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Birth of St. Mary from Anna

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-08

The birth of the Holy Mother of God in not described in the Holy Bible. We learn about from the Holy Tradition of the Church. Parents of the Holy Virgin, Jehoiakim and Anna did not have children for many years. Once, when Anna goes to the garden to pray, suddenly God’s Angel appears to her and tells her that she will have a baby. Anna thanks God for hearing her prayers and promises to present her baby to God. Jehoiakim also has the same vision. He also renders glory to God for deserving him that grace and offers sacrifice. Anna gives birth to a girl, who is named Mary, which means “Illuminated”. It was she whom God granted the grace to be the Mother of God. As mother she worried, suffered for her Son, but never opposed to God very well understanding the importance of the mission entrusted to her by God.

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Eve of the Fast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-08

This is the Sunday preceding the week prior to the Exaltation of the life giving Cross of the Lord. Fasting period is from Monday to Friday.

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Commemoration of 318 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-07

This council is the First Ecumenical Council in the history of the Church, which was convened upon the order of the King Costandianos the Great in the town Nicaea near Constantinople, in 327 A. D. 318 prominent pontiffs representing the Universal Church participated in the Council. The reason for convening the council was priest Arios of Alexandria, who preached that Christ was not without beginning, that he was created upon the Will of God before times and centuries, in order the creation of God to be realized by means of Christ. The only one not having birth, the only one eternal and without beginning is God the father. Son has been created not from the essence of the Father, but from nothing. There was a time when the Son did not exist. Although the Son has received all the virtues of the Father and is adopted, he is not pure as the Father is, he is changeable, as all human beings.

Because of such viewpoints of Arios the Divinity of Christ was denied and the entire Christian doctrine was endangered. Archbishop Alexander of Alexandria opposed to Arianism. In his sermons he stressed that God is eternal, and Son is eternal, Father and Son are of the same time. Father does not precede the Son even for a moment, Father has always existed and Son has always existed. The false teaching of Arios is condemned during the first Ecumenical Council and it is declared to be heresy.

Aristakes, son of St. Gregory the Illuminator, also participates in the first Ecumenical Council. The doctrinal formulation adopted by the Council, which is known as Nicene Creed, is brought to Armenia by Aristakes and is presented to St. Gregory the Illuminator. The latter added to it the following passage: “As for us, we shall glorify him who was before the ages, worshipping the Holy Trinity and the one Godhead, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and unto ages of ages. Amen.”.

The Nicene Creed, adopted in Nicaea, and the passage added by St. Gregory the Illuminator, are up to date used in the rites of the Armenian Apostolic Church without any change. Aristakes brings to Armenia also 20 canons adopted by the Council of Nicaea, which are also ratified by St. Gregory the Illuminator.

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Commemoration of Sts. John the Baptist and Job the Righteous

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-05

St. John the Baptist (the Forerunner) is the most prominent person in the Gospels after Jesus Christ and it is he who opens the era of God’s Kingdom, that is - the era of Christ’s Church. Being a promised son and born in excellent conditions, John spends his youth in isolation and in the presence and virtues of God. At the age of 30 he goes to the valley of Jordan to preach and to prepare the people for Christ’s Coming. In the very beginning of his mission he appeals to the people and exhorts them to turn from their sins: “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom of heaven is near! ... Do those things that will show that you have turned from sins... The ax is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire” (The Gospel according to Matthew 3:2, 8, 10). In the Gospels he is the man the Prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said, “Someone is shouting in the desert, “ Prepare a road for the Lord; make a straight way for him to travel!” (The Gospel according to Matthew 3:3). The peak of John’s activity is baptizing of Jesus and declaring him to be the promised Messiah. After John’s realizing the mission of baptizing Herod, the ruler of Galilee first imprisons John the Baptist for reprimanding him for marrying to Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and then beheads John the Baptist.

Job lived in the land of Uz surrounding the Dead Sea. He “worshipped God and was faithful to him. He was a good man, careful no to do anything evil” (The Book of Job 1:1). Job had seven sons and three daughters; he was rich and had a large number of servants. However, wealth had not spoilt him

By the will of God job is subjected to various sufferings, loses his property, children and is afflicted with a repulsive disease (leprosy), but nevertheless, he does not sin against God and in response to his wife’s complaints, Job says: “When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us troubles?” (The Book of Job 2:10). Facing all those sufferings, in the end Job is restored to his former conditions with even greater prosperity than before.

Job’s life teaches us two important and true things: firstly, the spirit of evil, Satan, always stands in the roots of the evil, and secondly, the sufferings always contribute to the man’s becoming a good man.

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Commemoration of the Prophets Ezekiel, Ezra and Zechariah - St. John the Baptist’s Father

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-03

Prophecy is one of the most important phenomena of the Old Testament. Prophet is the person who has had close relationship with God, that is - he “has spoken” with God, or has received a message from God, or has been sent by God to a person or a nation to transfer His message. The main characteristic trait of the true prophet is his being incorruptible, independent, brave and extremely faithful to the divine message and commandment.

The author of prophecies is God. He has transferred his revelation to man thanks to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First He has inspired His ideas, and then man, under His influence, comprehending the ideas, has transferred them to the people.

Prophet Ezekiel was one of the priests serving in the Temple of Jerusalem. After the King of Babylon – Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem in 597 B. C. Ezekiel is exiled with other Israelites. Four years later God calls Ezekiel to Him in order to make him His prophet. From the place of exile Ezekiel warns as Jews, who had captivated Jerusalem, as well as the people remaining in Jerusalem. After taking and fall of Jerusalem in 587 B. C. he addresses the people consoling and giving hope words.

The beginning of the Prophet Ezra’s priesthood is considered to be 397 B. C. His most important deed was keeping Israelites back from intermarriages, which became the reason of not only forgetting true God, but also distorted their national traits and image. Ezra also collected and classified the rules of Moses.

Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah) is John the Baptist’s father, who served in the temple of Jerusalem. He and his wife – Elizabeth, who was the sister of Anna - St. Mary’s mother, had no children for many years. When Zechariah, being already an aged man, was offering a sacrifice in the Temple, an angel appears to him and tells him that his wife - Elizabeth will bear him a son. For doubting the good tidings of the Angel Zechariah is punished to be unable to speak and to remain silent until the day of birth of his son – John the Baptist.

Prophet Zechariah is killed in the cathedral by means of being swabbed before the holy altar for hiding his son from the soldiers of the King Herod.

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Feast of the Discovery of St. Mary’s Box

This year is celebrated in:: 2020-09-30

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


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