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Cel întru sfinți Părintele nostru Grigorie Luminătorul sau Grigorie Iluminatorul (în armeană: Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ translit. Grigor Lusavorich, în greacă: Γρηγόριος Φωστήρ sau Φωτιστής), întocmai cu Apostolii și iluminător al Armeniei celei mari, a fost primul episcop al Armeniei și considerat ca formator al identității creștine a Armeniei prin convertirea de la păgânism la creștinism. Prin el, Armenia a devenit prima țară care s-a definit pe sine ca și creștină, la anul 301 (sau, după alți istorici, la anul 314). Prăznuirea lui în Biserica Ortodoxă se face la 30 septembrie.
Gregory was born about 257. His father Anak, a Parthian prince, was put to death for assassinating his kinsman King Khosrov while Gregory was still an infant. To escape execution, Gregory was taken by his nurse to Cezareea Capadociei where he was raised as a Christian. He married and had two sons. One son, Orthanes, would later become a preot and the other, Aristaces became, first, an călugăr, then later a episcop who attended the Council in Nicea. About 280, Gregory returned to Armenia and entered the service of King Tiridates III, the son of the assassinated Khosrov. However, Tiridates was intolerant of Christianity and demanded that Gregory renounce his Christian faith which he refused to do. Gregory was imprisoned and subjected to many tortures during his imprisonment of some thirteen years including enduring imprisonment in a pit with venomous snakes. In the meanwhile Tiridates continued to pursue his anti-Christian campaign. He executed St. Rhipsime, the abbess Gaiana, and 35 virgins of a monastery in Asia Minor. During these times, Tiridates developed a serious ailment and suffered disfiguration. However, his heart soften after he was cured through Gregory’s prayers.
In 297, Tiridates, in gratitude, released Gregory from his tortures, who then began to preach to the people, urging them to reject the worship of idols and to follow Christ. Soon, Tiridates, repenting his crimes and, with most of the people of Armenia, answered Gregory’s call and became converts to Christianity. Tiridates was baptized by Gregory in 301. In that year, Tiridates adopted Christianity as the religion of his country. With the conversion of Armenia, the temples to idols were destroyed and churches to God were built.
In 302, Gregory was consecrated bishop of all the Armenians, to be their Catholicos, by Leontius of Caesarea. In 303, Gregory built the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin near Mount Ararat which still is the seat of the Amenian Catholicos. In 318, Gregory named his son, Aristaces, as his successor and charged his grandson, Grigoris, to spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the Caucasus and Anatolia. Gregory then retired to a monastery near Mount Sebuh in the Daralia province of Upper Armenia where he reposed about 331.
- Și părtaș obiceiurilor și următor scaunelor Apostolilor fiind, lucrare ai aflat, de Dumnezeu insuflate, spre suirea privirii la cele înalte. Pentru aceasta, cuvântul adevărului drept învățând și cu credință răbdând până la sânge, sfințite mucenice Grigorie, roagă-te lui Hristos Dumnezeu să mântuiască sufletele noastre.
Condac (glas 2)
- Pe cel mărit și ierarh, ca pe un nevoitor al adevărului, astăzi să-l lăudăm toți cu cântări, și cu viersuri de laude. Pe păstorul și învățătorul cel priveghialnic, pe Grigorie luminătorul a toată lumea. Căci se roaga lui Hristos să ne mântuim noi.