It is a rare thing when a national culture is revolutionized by a small group of scholars. But that is exactly what happened in 5th-century Armenia, through the efforts of the Holy Translators. The leaders of the movement—Catholicos Sahag Partev and Mesrob Mashdots—truly gambled when they imagined creating an Armenian version of the Bible.
“Armenian art is not something isolated. It is woven into a global network. It needs to be understood for what makes it specifically Armenian, while also being art of global significance.”
The speaker was Dr. Helen C. Evans, addressing an enthusiastic crowd of close to a hundred on Thursday, June 7, at the Diocesan Center in New York.
The king ruled over an empire of many nations, and had a great opinion of himself. He had his own image sculpted in a statue of gold, 90 feet tall, and ordered all the authorities of his realm—political, judicial, religious—to fall down and worship it. Predictably, they all did.
“Poor working girl perseveres through the adversities of life and love—but finally makes it big.”
It sounds like the outline of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale—or, given a more contemporary spin, a Danielle Steel novel. But in fact it’s the life story of one of the saints of the Armenian Church: Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, and discoverer of the Holy Cross of our Lord.
My blessings and warm good wishes to you all.
I am writing to you about some troubling news from Armenia in the last few days, regarding a small, vocal group of protestors—clergy and lay people—agitating for the resignation of the Catholicos of All Armenians.