Thursday, October 1, 2015
Saint Gregory the Illuminator

Today in the pre-1955 Traditional Catholic Missal is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locis) of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (also called Saint Gregory the Enlightener).  This feastday was set by Pope Gregory XVI in September 1837.

St. Gregory is the patron saint and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He was responsible for converting Armenia from paganism to Christianity in 301 AD.

St.Gregory the Illuminator, an Armenian nobleman, is recognized for evangelizing Armenia so rapidly that Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion. St. Gregory first converted the king, Trdat III (Tiridates), and with his support, led massive “people movements” to Christ. This is the first case where a king's conversion led to the conversion of a nation. It preceded by a dozen years Constantine's edict of 313 AD whereby Christians were tolerated, but paganism was not banned, as it was in Armenia.

There are only a handful of Armenian Catholic Churches in the United States (view the full list here) - there are many more American Orthodox than Armenian Catholics.

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