Bust of Saint Servatius in Maastricht Basilica (the Netherlands)
Armenian traces in the Netherlands and Belgium go way back. Perhaps the first notable contact was in the 4th century when Armenia became the world’s first Christian nation and monks spread to all corners of the world professing Christianity. One such missionary was Servatius who in the 4th century became one of the first to preach the Gospel in western Europe. He is believed to be the first to Christianize the Netherlands and became the bishop of Tongeren (Belgium). According to various accounts Servatius came from Armenia to western Europe preaching Christianity. He is considered a Saint and has been credited with many miracles, some of which continued to manifest after his death in 384 AD, contributing to popularity of pilgrimages to his remains at one of Europe’s oldest Basilica (Basilica of Saint Servatius) in Maastrich. Servatius (Servaas in Dutch) is a patron saint of the city of Maastricht (in Holland), and the towns of Schijndel (in Holland) and Grimbergen (in Belgium).