On Tuesday, March 1st. the Armenian Church will observe the Feast of St. Leontius (Ghevont) the Priest and His Companions.

St. Ghevont is one of the great exemplars of the Armenian priesthood, remembered for his courage and resolution at the Battle of Avarayr in 451 A.D.  He and his brother clergymen stood with the Armenian soldiers, under the leadership of St. Vartan Mamigonian, in their stand against the Persian army to defend Armenia’s existence as a Christian nation.

On the eve of battle, Ghevont celebrated the Divine Liturgy, distributed Holy Communion, and baptized soldiers who had not yet been baptized in the Armenian Church. He also delivered a stirring sermon, stressing that neither the Persian forces nor death could undermine the soldiers’ union with Christ.

Each year on this day, clergy of the Eastern Diocese from the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania regions gather at St. Leon (Ghevont) Church in Fair Lawn, NJ, for the annual Ghevontiantz Day observance.