SIS Compatriotic & cultural Society Hosts Annual St. Sarkis Name Day

PRESS RELEASE
SIS COMPATRIOTIC & CULTURAL SOCIETY
Contact: Boghos Patatian
Tel:626-818-9004
Email: [email protected]

February 25, 2015

SIS COMPATRIOTIC & CULTURAL SOCIETY HOSTS
ITS ANNUAL ST. SARKIS NAME DAY CELEBRATION

Nearly 100 Members, Guests, Friends and Supporters Attend the Annual Event

PASADENA, CA – Close to 100 enthusiastic Sis Compatriotic & Cultural
Society (SCCS) members, guests, friends and supporters gathered in
Pasadena, California on the evening of Sunday, February 8, 2015 to
collectively observe and celebrate the Feast and Name Day of
St. Sarkis the Warrior. Marked as a very special holiday culturally,
the Feast and Name Day of St. Sarkis the Warrior is uniquely
associated, revered and commemorated by both the Armenian Apostolic
Church worldwide, but more specifically, by the Sis Compatriotic &
Cultural Society of USA, which more fervently and religiously observes
the Saint’s holiday every year as its very own historical mainstay
celebration and maintains its significance and safeguards its
traditions.

Armenian descendants who hail from Sis — currently occupied as the
Turkish town of Kozan in the Adana Province, honor *St. Sarkis as
their very own Patron Saint.

St. Sarkis the Warrior along with his only son – Mardiros and his 14
soldiers-companions were martyred in their valiant effort to preserve
and hold steadfast the Christian faith. St. Sarkis courageously
declared `We should worship one God – the Holy Trinity, which has
created the earth and the heavens. Whereas fire or idols are not gods
and the human being may destroy t fice to the heathen gods.

Lore states that the Saint Captain immediately refused to obey the
King’s order and destroyed the temple but in so doing paid the
ultimate price for it when his son Saint Mardiros, his 14
soldiers-companions and the Saint himself were martyred for remaining
steadfast in their Christian faith. They were imprisoned and
subsequently beheaded.

It is said that summarily after the martyrdom of the Saint, a light
appeared over his body completely illuminating him. St. Mesrop
Mashtots later brought the relics of the Saint to the village Karbi
and the Church of St. Sarkis was built over his relics.

Today St. Sarkis holds a special place in the lives of young Armenians
who when in love consider St. Sarkis their intercessor and protector
and continually ask the Saint for his help and support. As the
Armenian equivalent to St. Valentine, young people in love present
each other cards, flowers or sweets on the occasion of the Saint’s
feast.

It is in honor of the sacrifice of the Saint and in veneration of his
memory that the Sis Compatriotic & Cultural Society of USA hosts its
annual St. Sarkis Name Day Celebration Dinner and Family Fun Night the
first Sunday of each February.

This year’s celebration, as in years past, proved to be just as
joyous, entertaining and memorable an affair for all who were in
attendance. The evening’s program was opened by its Master of
Ceremonies and SCCS Vice President Boghos Patatian who after offering
his opening remarks, invited longtime Board of Directors Member Arpi
Kitsinian to present the biography and historic significance of
St. Sarkis the Warrior. She was followed by the Chairman of the Board
of the SCCS Appo Jabarian who welcomed members and guests, spoke about
the SCCS, its history, its contributions and also elaborated on the
significance of St. Sarkis and his place in the hearts of Armenians
throughout the world and the lore and traditions associated with him.

Guests were then treated to a special meal which included a unique
Armenian porridge ca celebration and which was graciously prepared
and provided by longtime SCCS Member and Former Board Member Tivol
Kalaydian and also to a special sesame confection dessert called
`Sourp Sarkis Halva’ which is also traditionally served in honor of
the organization’s Patron Saint and bares the Saint’s name which was
prepared by longtime supporters and current Board of Directors
Members Arpi Kitsinian and Elo Haddadian-Kitsinian. The evening
concluded with members and guests listening to music, participating
in games and socializing and getting caught up with one another.

`We were very pleased with this event’ remarked Appo
Jabarian. `Collectively we put in a lot of time, energy and effort
into it and are extremely proud to host it every year and look forward
to hosting it for many years to come’ stated Jabarian. `We thank all
of our fellow Sis-etzis, SCCS members, executives, participants,
sponsors, guests, friends and attendees and hope to continually grow
as our marquee event while we expand the scope, profile and reach of
our venerable organization, always striving to increase its
sustainability, significance and contributions.’

Sis, the ancestral home of the descendants and members of Sis
Compatriotic & Cultural Society of USA, is considered culturally as
the seat of the Armenian kings and which, in 1173 AD, was proclaimed
as the Capital of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. With a population
which was primarily Armenian at the time, *Sis also became the
official residence of the Catholicos’ of the Armenian Apostolic
Church. In 1266 Mamluks looted and burnt the city. In 1275 Mamluks
again surrounded the city, but were defeated by Armenian forces of the
Cilician Kingdom. A century later, in 1369 Mamluks again conquered the
city, but were again forced to leave.

Finally, in 1375 Mamluks took the city, looted and burnt it and
captured the King along with his many Lords. With Sis destroyed, the
last Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia fell and its Kingdoms ceased to
exist. Despite this devastation, the descendants of eople remain and
continue to thrive today, holding some of the most prominent and
esteemed positions among the highest echelons of society both within
the current Republic of Armenia and throughout its Diaspora.

Founded in Los Angeles, California in 1993, the Sis Compatriotic &
Cultural Society of USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable
organization and is among the largest and most recognizable and
influential Compatriotic Societies of its kind. It endeavors to keep
the cultural and Compatriotic legacy alive generation after generation
by becoming the worthy heirs of its ancestors by instilling within its
fellow Sis-etzis the love of their ancestral Capital City of Sis, the
region of Adana and its homeland in Armenian Cilicia as well as
Western Armenia. It aims to enhance its member’s individual
commitments to maintaining a high level of national awareness on both
individual and collective levels; and finally strives to encourage and
empower its members and loyalists to be productive members of society
and to be supportive of one another in all facets of life.

# # #

*Sis (ancient city). (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 23,
2015, from (ancient_city)
*Saint Sarkis the Warrior. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February
23, 2015, from

PHOTO CAPTIONS:
Please credit: ALL PHOTOS BY ANGELE RAFAELIAN

PHOTO #1 — A group of friends and members at St. Sarkis Name Day Celebration
PHOTO #2 — Master of Ceremonies and SCCS Vice President Boghos Patatian
PHOTO #3 — Board of Directors Member Arpi Kitsinian
PHOTO #4 — Chairman of the Board of the SCCS Appo Jabarian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sis_
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Sarkis_the_Warrior

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