Surp Vartanants Feast of the Armenian Liturgical Calendar celebrated
Surp Vartanants Feast celebrated at the Church in Feriköy bearing the same name, by a Holy Mass under the auspices of His Beatitude the Patriarch Sahak II Mashalyan on February 20, 2020.
While the blessing of the Most Holy Sacrament was performed by Reverend Harutyun Damatyan, he has been assisted by deacons Setrak Davuthan, Rober Küçükakbulut and Armenak Kazancıyan.
Parish priest, Rev. Tatul Anushyan, Rev. Krikor Damatyan , Rev. Boghos Baronyan , senior priest Goryun Fenerciyan, Rev. Zohrap Civanyan and Rev. Shirvan Murzyan were also present at the celebration.
The hymns were performed by the Vartanants Choir under the direction of Maestro Adruşan Hallaçyan.
In his sermon, His Beatitude the Patriarch spoke about the denial of Peter and the question of Jesus to him “Peter, do you love me?”
“The Feast of Surp Vartanants , which we celebrate today, is a celebration of love, not of war. Our ancestors loved Jesus Christ, their religion, their Christianity, and were ready to sacrifice their lives for this love. This is love. The most valuable thing in life is love. The second most valuable thing in life is freedom. The third important thing for people is justice.
In the year 451, the Persians were ruling over the Armenians who converted to Christianity. The Persians who were worshipping the fire was doing a pressure on the Armenians and a result of this a war broke up. The Persian army was consisting of 300,000 people and the Armenians 60,000. The Armenian army loses the battle which lasted one day. The Armenians had 1036 martyrs, including Commander-in-Chief Vartan and Armenian princes. The remaining soldiers organize the people and the 30-year guerrilla war begins (451-481). The new Persian king decides that the Armenians should live as Christians freely in order not to face a revolt against the Roman Emperor and because he was unable to collect taxes and troops from the Armenians. This event is registered in the Armenian history as a victory which is won after a losing. The Armenian church also added this event to the church calendar from that date (481) and celebrates it on the previous Tuesday before the Carnival (Paregentan) which is the start of the Lent, remembering one of the architects of that war, Saint Priest Ğeyvont, and on Thursday, celebrates the day of Surp Vartanants remembering all the princes and civilian martyrs.
Is it worth these wars, martyrs? Of course, it was worth it. The love of the Armenian people for their faith was worth it for their freedom and justice. There are some things that people cannot live without them. Today, there are big values for us, such as our religion, faith, language, nation, schools, institutions… So, we still continue to fight this war for these values. Today is the Feast of Surp Vartanants, we should live this holiday with joy. Surp Vartanants tells us that there is hope if there is perseverance. So, let us continue to preserve the values that our ancestors gave life to.” Said His Beatitude the Patriarch.