Who was Gregory the Illuminator?

   Saint Gregory the Illuminator c. 257-337, Armenian bishop and national saint of Armenia, was born in Thortan. Descendant of the royal race of Parthia and Armenia, Gregory was the only surviving member of his family, who were murdered in reprisal for his father's assassination of the king of Persia. Gregory was taken to Caesarea and educated as a Christian. Later he helped to free Armenia from the Persians, converted the Armenian king to Christianity, and secured the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the country, thereby making Armenia the first Christian state. After he was ordained a priest he was consecrated bishop of the Armenians. Gregory was made the patron saint of Armenia after his death, and his feast is celebrated on October 1.