Surb Sargis: Armenia marks its Valentine’s Day

Published: Tuesday February 02, 2010

Loving hearts. Vahram Baghdasaryan / Photolure

Scenes from Surb Sargis Day on January 30. Tigran Tadevosyan / Photolure

Yerevan - Armenia marked the holiday of Surb Sargis (Saint Sergius) on January 30, patron saint of the young and those in love.

According to Armenian Church tradition Sargis is said to have lived between 285 and 337 and was a military commander for the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine and at a time served in Armenia.

While in Zoroastrian Persia, Sargis was beheaded for refusing to abandon his Christian faith and thus became one of early Christian martyrs.

In the fifth century, Saint Mesrop Mashtots delivered relics of Surb Sargis from Persia to Karbi-Ushi near Ashtarak where a church was built in his name, sparking continued veneration.

Armenian popular tradition has it that on the night before the holiday the young eat a salty pancake, without other food or drink, and would then expect to dream about their destined groom or bride.

Traditionally, Surb Sargis is depicted as a Roman-era warrior on a white horse.

 

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