Next Tuesday, September 26, the Armenian Church remembers Febronia, Mariana, and Shoushan. The best known of the three is Shoushan, daughter of Vartan Mamigonian and great-granddaughter of Sahag Bartev. She was educated under the tutelage of St. Sahag and her mother, Sahaganoush. Her father’s life and martyrdom influenced her to become a devout and faithful Christian. Her birth name was Varteny, but she was called Shoushan because of her extraordinary piety. She was married to Vazken, a son of a Georgian king, and had three sons and a daughter. After the death of her father-in-law, her husband became power hungry, went to Persia, renounced the Christian faith and returned to Georgia with another wife, and tried to force Shoushan to renounce her Christian faith. Even after years of imprisonment and torture she refused to renounce the faith for which her father had fought so valiantly.
Febronia was a nun of extraordinary beauty at Nisibis in Mesopotamia. She was offered to be spared from persecution and torture if she renounced her religion. She refused and was brutally martyred.
Although the daughter of idol worshippers, Mariana was raised by a woman who was secretly a Christian and was baptized at the age of twelve. At the age of fifteen she confessed to her father that she was a Christian. She refused to renounce her religion and refused the offer of marriage by a local official telling him that she was “married to Christ.” She was tortured and martyred.