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Saints’ Days in the Armenian Church

In the Armenian Church calendar there are 112 feasts dedicated to the commemoration of Saints. Figuratively, all Saints (their number is over 400) can be divided into three groups:

1. Biblical Saints: forefathers, apostles, myrrhbearers, the host of God's angels, etc;

2. Christian Saints: hierarchs, martyrs, hermits as well as the Holy Fathers of the Church;

3. Armenian Historical Figures: Saints connected with the history of the Armenian Church (their number is over 60).

Saints Anthony and Chronides were ones of the first hermits in the history of the Armenian Church. In 302, after their arrival to Armenia, they founded the first Armenian monastery in honor of Saint John the Baptist.
The feast of Saints Anthony and Chronides is celebrated on the fifth Monday after the dominical feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Saint Shushanik was a daughter of Saint Vardan Mamikonian and a wife of the Georgian feudal lord Varsken. In order to get political mileage, her husband adopted Zoroastrianism and tried to make her abandon the Christian faith. Being a devoted Christian, Shushanik refused to follow his example, and, as a result, she was martyred for the sake of the faith. She was put in irons and imprisoned in a dark dungeon to die.

During 6 years, Shushanik prayed and kept fasting, offering help to people who came to visit her: healing, good advice, and relief. In the seventh year of her imprisonment in the dungeon Shushanik died.
Her feast day is celebrated on the Tuesday of the Fast of the Cross of Varak.

Martyrs Sarkis, his son Martiros and his 14 warriors (the 4th century). Sarkis was a devoted Christian and a Commander in the Persian army. When the emperor Julianos the Betrayer (361- 363) began persecuting the Christians throughout his empire, Sarkis scattered his wealth among the poor and together with his son Martiros came to live in Armenia. Later on they moved to Persia where Sarkis was appointed as a Commander.

Being a Christian, Sarkis tried to convert the warriors in his army into his faith, and was brought to court for that. First his son Martiros was martyred, and some time later Sarkis himself was beheaded. Fourteen Christian warriors took his body and buried it. Later on they were also martyred for the sake of the Christian faith. Their feast day is celebrated on the Saturday after the Fast of Catechumens.


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