Feast Day of Thaddeus and Bartholomew the Apostles in Armenia Date in the current year: November 30, 2024

Feast Day of Thaddeus and Bartholomew the Apostles in Armenia Bartholomew and Thaddeus (Jude) were among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. In the Armenian Apostolic Church, they are venerated as its patron saints. Their collective feast day is movable; it observed by the Armenian Apostolic Church in late November or early December.

Bartholomew the Apostle appears in all three synoptic Gospels (the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) and in the Acts of the Apostles. He has also been identified as Nathanael, who is mentioned only in the Gospel of John, because both Bartholomew and Nathanal are mentioned together with Philip the Apostle in their respective gospels.

According to tradition, Bartholomew went on a mission first to India and then to Greater Armenia. Legend has it that he was martyred for having converted the king of Armenia to Christianity; according to some accounts, he was flayed alive and beheaded, while other accounts claim he was crucified head downward. A 13th century Armenian monastery was built on the traditional site of his martyrdom; its ruins are situated in present-day Turkey.

Jude the Apostle, also known as Jude Thaddeus or Judas Thaddeus, is generally identified with Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the seventy disciples of Jesus (at least in the Armenian Apostolic Church). He is traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and the Monastery of Saint Thaddeus was built in his honor in present-day Iran (back then, this territory was part of Greater Armenia).

The Armenian Apostolic Church is believed to have originated in the mission of Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew (hence its name). According to tradition, Thaddeus of Edessa, who is traditionally identified with Judas Thaddeus the Apostle, cured King Abgar V of Osroene of leprosy, which led to the king’s conversion to Christianity. Thaddeus was tasked with proselytizing throughout Armenia. He eventually suffered martyrdom, and Bartholomew came to Armenia to continue his work. Both apostles ordained native bishops, laying the foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In should be noted, however, that while Thaddeus and Bartholomew were the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, it is Saint Gregory the Illuminator who is credited with making Armenia the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion.

The feast day of Thaddeus and Bartholomew the Apostles is observed in churches throughout Armenia, as well as by the Armenian diaspora. The biggest celebration takes place in Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Vagharshapat, since it is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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