Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For All the Saints: Gregory the Illuminator

The founder of Christianity in Armenia is honored today in the Anglican Communion and on September 30 in the Eastern Church. St. Gregory the Illuminator (c. 257 – c. 331) was the son of an Armenian Parthian noble who had been executed for the assassination of King Khosrov II. Gregory married but eventually he joined a monastery and, to atone for what his father did, he felt called to evangelize Armenia. Unfortunately, Kohosrov's son was the king and he imprisoned Gregory for years. He was eventually released so that he could help the new king, Tiridates II, whom Gregory baptized. That kind subsequently allowed Gregory to lead Christianity in Armiaia, resulting in he beginning of the Armenian church and the building of the Mother Church in Echmiadzin. At the end of his life he retired to a small convent of monks.

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