Christian Roots Part2
Patron Saint Gregory the Illuminator
Saint Gregory, Head of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Born in 257 AD somewhere near Cappadocia, Kayseri Saint Gregory was turned over to the Christian Holy Father Euthalius early in his life, to be raised and educated as a devout Christian. Because his father, Anak was charged with assassinating Khosrov I, one of the kings of the Arshakouni line and was put to death, his mother took him to Cappadocia and with the help of caretakers they delivered him to the Holy Father Euthalias mentioned earlier.
Upon becoming a man, he married and fathered two sons and during this same period he was imprisoned by Tiridates III a son of King Khosrov II because of his fathers earlier deed to the royal family. Gregory was released from imprisonment in 297 AD and by 301 AD was selected and baptised by TRdat the Great and became an upper class Christian and granted full rights to begin conversion of Armenia to Christianity. It is said that Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion.
In 302 AD Patron Saint Gregory recieved consecration as Patriarch of Armenia from Leontius of Caesarea. numerous prayers and canons were co-inspired by St. Gregory for the Armenian Church. In Saint Gregory's later years of life he withdrew to a small santuary near Mt. Sepuh, upper Armenia where he remained until his death in 331 AD
Saint Gregory the Enlightener is said to be responsible for converting Armenia from paganism to Christianity. His Grandson is said to have preached all over the region including Albania.
For more in depth reading about this Patron Saint who contributed to the spreading of Christianity please refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_the_Illuminator#Beginnings
Hope that you find this interesting and that you are blessed in your study of the early influences of Christianity.