By Bishop Grigorios of Mesaoria
Our Church commemorates today the Hieromartyr Gregory the Illuminator of Great Armenia.
Hieromartyr Gregory descended from the line of the Parthian Arsakid emperors of Armenia and lived during the reign of the pagan emperor, Diocletian. He became a catechumen and then was baptised in Caesarea, Cappadocia. After he was ordained priest, he travelled to Armenia to preach the Holy Gospel.
In Armenia, his kinsman tried to persuade him to sacrifice to idols and return to paganism. The steadfastness of Saint Gregory enraged the pagan ruler, who insulted him and gave him over to cruel tortures. Despite his suffering, he remained steadfast in his faith in the Savior Christ and the Orthodox faith.
After many miraculous events, the pagan ruler repented his past life and asked for God’s grace. He was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The conversion of the Armenian ruler to Christianity has led many of his compatriots to the path of true faith. The steadfastness of the clergy and the courageous confession of faith in Christ contribute to the spread and consolidation of the Holy Gospel and to the true social welfare of the people.
SOURCE: Church of Cyprus