Posts Tagged ‘Holy Translators’

This Saturday, October 8, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Translators, one of the most beloved feasts. There are, in fact, two such commemorations in our liturgical calendar. One is on the Thursday following the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, which can occur in June or July; the other is on the second Saturday of October.

       The October commemoration focuses on the creation of the Armenian alphabet (406) and on the accomplishments of the Holy Translators. Mesrob Mashdots, the founder of the alphabet, and Catholicos Sahag, together with some of their students, translated the Bible. Schools were opened and the works of world-renowned scholars were translated. Their work gave the Armenian Church a distinct national identity.

       In modern times the entire month of October has been designated as a “Month of Culture.” Armenians throughout the Diaspora and Armenia mark this with cultural events not only in remembrance of the past, but in celebration of modern-day scholars, theologians, writers, and translators.

       Specifically remembered this Saturday along with Mesrob and Sahag, are: Yeghishe, a renowned student of Sahag and Mesrob, who served as secretary to Vartan Mamigonian and who wrote the great history of the Vartanantz wars; Movses of Khoren, another student of Sahag and Mesrob, who is revered as the father of Armenian history; David the Invincible, a student of Movses, received most of his education in Athens, where he was given the title “Invincible” because of his brilliance in philosophy; Gregory of Nareg, who is considered the greatest poet of the Armenian nation and its first and greatest mystic; and Nerses Shnorhali, a great writer, musician, theologian, and ecumenist.

       The holy translators, like stewards, were interpreters of the divine Scriptures by inventing letters by means of which are preserved on earth as living words for the shepherd flock of the New Israel, praise God with a sweet sounding hymn.

       They looked on the greatness of earthly glory as on darkness and having put their hope in the immortal bridegroom they were made worthy of the kingdom of heaven; praise God with a sweet-sounding song.

       By the power of the Father’s wisdom the uncreated existing One by means of their translation they made firm the throne of Saint Gregory, praise God with a sweet-sounding song.

       Saint Sahag having dressed in the new word, the holy scriptures, adorned the Armenian churches, praise God with a sweet-sounding song.
Canon to the Holy Translators, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church

Posted from the Armenian Prelacy’s (Eastern) Crossroads E-Newsletter

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  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

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