An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Gregory the Illuminator

(c. 257-c. 332). Bishop and missionary to Armenia. He was born in Valarshapat or possibly Caesarea in Cappadocia. After studying at Caesarea in Cappadocia, he returned to Armenia and converted King Tiridates. With the help of the king he converted the nation to Christianity. He was consecrated bishop around 315, and he baptized the kings of Caucasian Iberia, Lazes, and Albania. Sometime before his death he retired as a hermit in the wilderness. By his missionary work Armenia was the first country to become officially Christian. Gregory died in Armenia. He is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Mar. 23.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.