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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feast day of St. Gregory the Illuminator, Apostle of Armenia

Anglican and Roman churches usually celebrate St. Jerome today. We are choosing to celebrate St. Gregory the Illuminator instead due to our future connection to Armenia through our to-be-adopted daughter.

Here's a little about St. Gregory, the Illuminator:

The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first country to become Christian, and it recognizes Gregory as its apostle. Armenia was a buffer state between the powerful empires of Rome and Parthia (Persia), and both of them sought to control it. Gregory was born about 257. When he was still an infant, his father assassinated the King of Parthia, and friends of the family carried Gregory away for protection to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was reared as a Christian. About 280 he returned to Armenia, where he was at first treated severely, but eventually by his preaching and example brought both King Tiridates and a majority of his people to the Christian faith. About 300, Gregory was consecrated the first bishop of Armenia. He died about 332. Armenian Christians to this day remember him with honor and gratitude. (from

A prayer for today:

Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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DebD said...

St. Gregory has such a wonderful story...

St. Gregory from the Prologue

I found both his Hagiography and the Reflection to be quite inspiring yesterday.

I was actually wondering yesterday if there were any special Feast Day activities the Armenian Christians do to celebrate this day. Do you know?