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Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak

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Unique to the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak is celebrated on the Sunday nearest to September 28, always two weeks after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

In the 3rd century, the nun St. Hripsime buried a piece of the cross upon which Christ was crucified on Mount Varak in historic Armenia as a way of protecting it from the soldiers of Emperor Maximian, who were pursuing her. Centuries later, in 650 A.D., a monk by the name of Todik had a dream of a church on Mount Varak with 12 pillars in the center of which was a radiant cross. The cross then came to rest over the altar of the monastery of Varak, where Todik discovered the cross relic. When told the news by the monk, Catholicos Nersess (the builder) came to Varak, verified the relic's authenticity, and established a feast in honor of the discovery.

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