Today, July 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Translators, Sts. Sahag Bartev and Mesrob Mashdots. The feasts dedicated to the Holy Translators are among the most beloved celebrations for Armenians. Sahag and Mesrob are honored two times during the liturgical year: on the Thursday following the fourth Sunday after Pentecost (which is today), and on the second Saturday of October.
St. Sahag is remembered for his strong leadership during some of the most difficult days for the Armenian Church, as well as during some of the most glorious. He is also remembered for his vast body of literary work. After the development of the Armenian alphabet, he was the guiding force for the translation of the Bible as well as in the translation of the works of the Holy Fathers.
St. Mesrob developed the Armenian alphabet with the aid and support of St. Sahag, after a long period of travel and investigation. According to tradition, during one of his travels Mesrob was meditating in a cave in Palu, and it was there he saw a vision that helped him complete his task of creating an alphabet for the Armenian language.
The two saints, Sahag and Mesrob, are forever linked in the minds and hearts of the Armenian people. There are many Armenian churches throughout the world named in their dual honor.
“That you may know wisdom and instruction, and understand words of insight…”
(Proverbs 1:2—the first words in the Bible to be translated into Armenian).
“The creation of the Armenian alphabet was a momentous event, a crucial turning point in the history of the nation that ensured the preservation of the Armenian identity in religion, culture, traditions, and literature for centuries to come. It unleashed the spiritual and intellectual potential of an entire people, to the extent that within the very same century a great intellectual revival occurred, giving rise to a literary output that is impressive both in quality and in quantity: the fifth century became the Golden Age of Armenian literature.”
The Heritage of Armenian Literature, Volume 1
Reposted from Crossroads E-Newsletter of the Eastern Prelacy