Memory 21 August (3 September)
Sarmean was a firm defender of Orthodoxy. Once, however, on Cheese-fare Thursday at Shio-Mgvime Monastery, a group of strangers bearing gifts arrived at the monastery. He served Holy Communion to them without ever inquiring into their faith. Later he learned that they were Jacobites.
His carelessness was revealed to him in a dream that same night.
When he awoke the next morning, Catholicos Sarmean summoned the bishops, confessed his mistake, burned the gifts that the Jacobites had given him before their eyes, and departed for an isolated cave, where he wept over his sin with bitter tears.
But the All-merciful Lord sent a sign to St. Sarmean to inform him that his transgression had been forgiven. The bishops sent him a message from Mtskheta: “O Great Sovereign Patriarch Sarmean! Rejoice!
We, your spiritual children, believers in your holiness, the entire council of bishops, wish to inform you that St. Shio has appeared and told each of the five of us that the Lord has remitted your sin. Makehaste and summon us to the monastery, that we may give thanks to get her to our Holy Father Shio!”
Holy Catholicos Sarmean, divinely endowed with humility, faith, love, and the fear of God, led his flock wisely to the end of his days and reposed peacefully in the year 774.
O Great Sovereign Patriarch, Holy Catholicos Sarmean, have mercy on thy children and all those who believe in thy blessedness!