St. Tamar of Mogk

Tamar of Mogk

St. Tamar, a Christian woman from Mogk, was martyred for confessing her faith in Christ in 1398 A.D. In her life, she took on the name Kohar, meaning precious gem.

It was believed that the devil caused a Kurd from the same district of Mogk as Tamar to be fixated on her beauty. He had a strong desire to take her away from her husband, Tuma, and to kill him. When word of this reached Tamar—a woman of great faith—she fled with her husband and their children to the island of Aghtamar on Lake Van.

Years later, Tamar and her husband came out of hiding, but the Kurds recognized them and took them to the local governors, Emir Azdin and his wife Pasha Khatun. Pasha Khatun promised generous gifts to Tamar if she agreed to give up her Christian faith, but warned that if she refused, Tamar would face a severe death.

Tamar did not hesitate in telling Pasha Khatun that she would never forsake Christ. She asked Pasha Khatun to inflict extreme tortures upon her immediately, declaring that she would die for Christ before accepting even the most lavish gift for denouncing Him. Enraged, Pasha Khatun imprisoned Tamar and subjected her to starvation.

Still, Tamar stood firmly by her faith. Christians came to Pasha Khatun offering large sums of money for Tamar’s release, but instead, Pasha Khatun had Tamar taken out of town to be stoned.

At the place of execution, Tamar was repeatedly asked if she would abandon her faith, but she replied with an even greater profession of devotion to Christ. Just as she confessed this, she began to be struck with stones.

Christians buried her with dignity, remembering her for her piety and modesty. It is said that she had sewn her skirt and the neck of her tunic so as not to expose herself in her final moments. Tamar, or Kohar, was truly God’s precious gem.

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