Young Students of Sisters’ Academy Pay Tribute to Vartan Mamigonian

RADNOR, Penn. — Remembering the past while preparing for the future is one of many values taught at the Armenian Sisters’ Academy. Following these principles, Academy students celebrated Vartanantz Day and the heroic struggles of Vartan Mamigonian who fought against the Persians to maintain Christianity. Although the battle took place in 451, it is still celebrated as a religious and national holiday.

At the academy, the principal, Sister Emma Moussayan, welcomed the audience of clergy, students, parents and friends to this annual celebration. “At the academy we instill in the child’s heart the importance of religion by celebrating Vartanantz Day. Our past is always present and our present is our future. With this theme we must work to ensure the existence of our nation,” she explained. Following tradition, the Montessori students opened the program with songs and poems honoring St. Vartan. The sight of the young students waving the Armenian flag and singing brought a smile to all.

The play, performed entirely in Armenian, not only recognized the memory of Vartan and his soldiers, but also the priests who died defending their faith and the Armenian women who gave  their worldly belongings to help their husbands, brothers and sons in battle. Performed by students in grades fourth through eighth, the production depicted the lives that were lost, yet the triumph that Christianity was sustained. Shant Sarkahian played the role of Vartan and Ani Dardarian sang a rendition of Bulboolen Avarayri as Vartan’s mother and Sona Bardakjian sang Yerk Vartanantz as his daughter.

Sister Emma thanked upper-grade Armenian teacher Tamar Panosian and music teacher and accompanying pianist Maroush Paneyan-Nigon. Ovsanna Sadjonian, Armenian teacher for the younger grades, was also acknowledged.

Father Nishan Bakalian from Holy Martyrs Congregational Church then spoke stressing the importance of this event and that the battle of Vartan should remind us all how much Armenians love our faith. He stressed that the students should use this love to carry on our Armenian traditions and customs.