On Saturday, December 14, St. James Church of Evanston, IL, will celebrate its name day with a special service of veneration for the relic of its patron saint. The relic has traveled more than 5,000 miles from St. Kevork Armenian Church in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on this special occasion.
The centuries-old relic—comprised of bone fragments of St. James the Bishop of Nisibis—is encased in a beautiful, metal reliquary, shaped in the form of a human hand with fingers poised in benediction. It was housed at the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople until the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when it was brought to Plovdiv for safekeeping.
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Evanston on Saturday, the Feast of St. James. He will be assisted by the parish pastor, the Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan. Badarak will be followed by a requiem service for the deceased founders of the church and the service of veneration of the St. James relic. A luncheon will be held in the church hall on Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday, December 15, the Very Rev. Fr. Apgar Hovakimyan, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Bulgaria, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. James Church. Click here http://stjamesevanston.org/?p=1253to visit the parish website for information.
St. James (also known as Jacob, or Hagop in Armenian) of Nisibis was a celebrated 4th-century ascetic and theologian. In A.D. 308 he was appointed as the second bishop of the Christian community in the Mesopotamian city of Nisibis—modern Nusaybin, situated near the Turkish-Syrian border. He was a signatory at the Council of Nicaea in 325, which devised the Nicene Creed (the Havadamk). St. James is also known as the first Christian to search for Noah’s Ark—a piece of which he claimed to find on Mount Judi (Judi Dagh), some 70 miles from Nisibis. He died around A.D. 338.