Vardan Mamikonyan was an Armenian military leader, a martyr and a saint of the Armenian Church. He is best known for leading the Armenian army at the Battle of Avarayr in 451, which ultimately secured the Armenians' right to practice Christianity.
A member of the Mamikonian family of Armenia's highest caliber aristocrats (known as nakharars), he is revered as one of the greatest military and spiritual leaders of Armenia, and is considered a national hero by Armenians. According to Arshag Chobanian "To the Armenian nation, Vartan [...] is the most beloved figure, the most sacred in their history, the symbolical hero who typifies the national spirit." Major Armenian churches are named after Saint Vardan. Equestrian statues of St. Vardan are found in the Armenian capital Yerevan and in the country's second largest city, Gyumri.