Saint Sarkis Relics
Youth Advocate Commemoration Day
St. Sarkis is one of the most beloved saints. Together with his son Mardiros and 14 brave warriors, he was martyred for the sake of the Christian faith.
For his courage, Caesar Constantine the Great (285-337) ordained Sarkis as a prince and named him Prince and Commander in Cappadocia, bordering Armenia. He was not only an excellent commander but also a great preacher. Taking advantage of the emperor’s support, he destroyed the pagan temples, and built churches, and spread Christianity in the cities under his control.
When the persecution of the Church of Christ started during the reign of Julian the Apostate (360-363), Sarkis, divinely ordered to leave the empire, arrives with his son Mardiros and takes refuge in Christian Armenia, where King Tiran, grandson of Great Tiridates, Khosrov’s son, reigned.
Upon learning that Julian was moving with a large force to Persia, the Armenian king, seeking to keep his country free from attack, urged Sarkis to serve Shabouh, who welcomes St. Sarkis and appoints him commander of the troops.
Many militants, witnessing the splendid faith of the commander and the devotion to God through his conduct, the miracles the Lord performed in answer to his prayers, turned away from paganism and became Christians.
But Shabouh demands that he be worshiped and sacrificed to fire. The commander immediately refuses, saying: “There is one God to be worshiped, the Most Holy Trinity, who created heaven and earth. And fire or idols are not natural gods, the earthly man can destroy them. ”
After these words, S. Sarkis destroys the fire pit, driving the angry crowd to attack Sarkis and his son. The first to receive the crown of martyrdom is his son, Mardiros. St. Sarkis is incarcerated and remains strong in his faith, eventually, he is beheaded. After the Martyrdom, light shines upon Sarkis’s body. For their Christian faith, fourteen soldiers loyal to Sarkis are also martyred. Believers bury the bodies of the martyrs in the city of Hamian.
St. Sargis is one of the most beloved saints of the Armenian people, and it is no accident that St. Mesrop Mashtots brings his relics to Karb (Ashtarak region), building a church with the blessed Saint’s name on the spot.
Saint Sarkis According to 5th-century Armenian Historian Pavstos Puzant
Pavsdos Puzant wrote a poem about a meeting between Saint Sarkis and David of Sassoon, a poem in Chapter IV, Chapter 7. (see image)
He also tells how after his martyrdom, Saint Sarkis accompanies others who were martyred by an order of Byzantine Emperor Vales, they punish the anti-Christian Leader and kill him through a “miracle”.
“The Byzantine Emperor Vales was a follower of the Aryan sect and persecuted Christians. He is therefore punished and killed in 378 by miracles from God. He is killed by the Sacred Martyrs of Christianity, accompanied by St. Sarkis.”
(Pavstos Puzant, Chapter IV, Chapter 7).
Saint Sarkis and modern Armenians
St. The celebration of Sargis the Commander’s Day is celebrated in Armenia not only by church rituals and prayers but also by folk customs and sacred tradition. St. Sarkis’ commander is the imminent interceder of the youth. With his mediation miracles happen. On that day, the youth appeal to the saint to bring their prayers to God.
St. On the night before Sarkis Day, young people eat a salty donut so that their fiancé or bride is revealed to them in a dream. One of the memorable habits of that day is to put flour or gruel on the roof or balcony of the house and wait for the trail of the horse of Sarkis to appear.
According to tradition, Sarkis is accompanied by angels, and when the print of his white horseshoe (symbolizing purity) is seen on the flour or broth that an individual has placed in his premises, the dream of that believer will come true on that year.
Young people give each other postcards and sweets for this holiday. On the day of the Feast of St. Sarkis, churches named after Sarkis the Commander, celebrate Divine Liturgy, after which the youth is blessed.
To find out what Sarkis means, visit Armenian boy names.