Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop and Missionary, c. 332
Almighty God, who raised up your servant Gregory to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Illuminate our hearts, that we also in our own generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness and into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first country to become Christian, and it recognizes Gregory as its apostle. Armenia was a buffer state between the powerful empires of Rome and Parthia (Persia), and both of them sought to control it. Gregory was born about 257. When he was still an infant, his father assassinated the King of Parthia, and friends of the family carried Gregory away for protection to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was reared as a Christian. About 280 he returned to Armenia, where he was at first treated severely, but eventually by his preaching and example brought both King Tiridates and a majority of his people to the Christian faith. About 300, Gregory was consecrated the first bishop of Armenia. He died about 332. Armenian Christians to this day remember him with honor and gratitude. *
* The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Gregory_Illuminator.htm
Join us today at St. Alban's Episcopal Church for Holy Eucharist at 12:10 p.m. to learn more about Gregory.
You may also join us tonight for our Lenten Wednesday Eucharist and Supper at 6:00 p.m. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in West Monroe will be our host. The Rev'd Rob Harkness will celebrate, the Rev'd Wayne Fletcher will be our guest preacher.