Chapter 5



(Armenian Manuscript Page 21)


(Complete translation [JT])


Based on the few available sources (perhaps incomplete) the following are brief descriptions of each shrine:


1.  Luysaghpiur[1].  A shrine of this name, located west of the village, is recorded as a holy place . The Perkeniktsees called it St. John's[2]


 In reply to my query  "Did Perkenik have any Religious Shrines?" Mr. Stepan Balabanian of  G'Bolis writes me:


Yes, there were the following shrines:


2.  St. Severian[3].  This shrine was located in a village called K'lkhoodegh or K'lkhedegh  in a Turkish village near ours. The people of this village were "Turkicized" Armenians who had been physically forced to change their religion.  That village was on a hill shaped like a head.  According to tradition, this was the site of the beheading of St. Severian  In the fall our entire village went there on pilgrimage and celebrated a Solemn Armenian Liturgy (High Mass).  It was a custom for each villager to take a handful of the red dirt from beneath the altar and take it home to place in an urn.


3.  Isbirents Soorp was the name of a place in our village near the storeroom of the Isbirents family house.  From it sprung a fountain of water. A cross stood next to it.


4.  Arab Khach[4]  There was the Ogayents "Arab Khach." When one entered the Ogaian house, there was a small enclosure at the left on whose wall there was a cross of black stone.  Candles were lighted there.

[1]In Armenian the name means "Fountain of Light." [JT]

[2]Bzommar Library, New MSS., No. 445.  See also the newspaper Avedik, 1957, No. 10-12. [Author EB]

[3]St. Severian's shrine was mentioned in Chapter 4.  As stated in a footnote there,  St. Severian is listed in the Roman Martyrology. [JT]

[4]The name apparently means "Black Cross."  "Arab" was sometimes a synonym for "black."  The nape of my brother's neck and his upper back were darker (from the sun?) so my mother used to call him affectionately "Arabi shlli," i.e. "black neck."  Of course, that was when he was a little boy.  ("Shlli" is how I remember her pronunciation; no doubt this is a colloquial variant of the Armenian word "shlnik" =nape of the neck.  I believe there is also a similar-sounding and -meaning Turkish word.).[JT]

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