Site Meter
Share

Gregory the Illuminator

“…In 301 Gregory baptized Trdat (now known as Trdat the Great) along with members of the royal court and upper class as Christians. Trdat issued a decree by which he granted Gregory full rights to begin carrying out the conversion of the entire nation to the Christian faith. The same year Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion.

The newly built cathedral, the Mother Church in Echmiadzin became and remains the spiritual and cultural center of Armenian Christianity and center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Most Armenians were baptized in Aratsani (upper Euphrates) and Yeraskh (Arax) rivers.

Many of the pre-Christian, traditional Indo-European, festivals and celebrations such as Tyarndarach (Trndez – associated with fire worship) and Vartavar (Vadarvar – associated with water worship), that dated back to thousands of years were preserved and continued in the form of Christian celebrations and chants.

In 302, Gregory received consecration as Patriarch of Armenia from Leontius of Caesarea, his childhood friend.

…In AD 318, St. Gregory appointed his son Aristaces (Aristakes) as the next Catholicos in line of Armenia’s Holy Apostolic Church to stabilize and continue strengthening Christianity not only in Armenia, but also in the Caucasus and Anatolia.

Gregory also placed and instructed his grandson Grigoris (Aristakes’ son) in charge of the holy missions to the peoples and tribes of all of the Caucasus and Caucasian Albania. Grigoris was martyred by a fanatical mob, while preaching in Albania.

In his later years, Gregory withdrew to a small sanctuary near Mount Sebuh (Mt. Sepuh) in the Daranalia province (Manyats Ayr, Upper Armenia) with a small convent of monks, where he remained until his death….

After his death his corpse was removed to the village of Thodanum (T’ordan – modern Doğanköy, near Erzincan). His remains were scattered far and near in the reign of Zeno. His head is believed to be now in Italy, his left hand at Echmiadzin in Armenia, and his right at the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon. In the eighth century, the iconoclast decrees in Greece caused a number of religious orders to flee the Byzantine Empire and seek refuge elsewhere.

San Gregorio Armeno in Naples was built in that century over the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Ceres, by a group of nuns escaping from the Byzantine Empire with the relics of Gregory the Illuminator.
A number of prayers, and about thirty of the canons of the Armenian Church are ascribed to Gregory the Illuminator. The homilies appeared for the first time in a work called Haschacnapadum at Constantinople in 1737; a century afterwards a Greek translation was published at Venice by the Mekhiterists; and they have since been edited in German by J. M. Schmid (Ratisbon, 1872). The original authorities for Gregory’s life are Agathangelos, whose History of Tiridates was published by the Mekhitarists in 1835; Moses of Chorene, Historiae Armenicae; and Simeon Metaphrastes.

A Life of Gregory by the Vartabed Matthew was published in the Armenian language at Venice in 1749[citation needed] and was translated into English by the Rev. Father Malan (1868).

Gregory is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on March 23.”

St. Turibius of Mogrovejo

Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years. Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events.

When the archdiocese of Lima in Peru required a new leader, Turibius was chosen to fill the post: He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal the scandals that had infected that area.

He cited all the canons that forbade giving laymen ecclesiastical dignities, but he was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its worst. The Spanish conquerors were guilty of every sort of oppression of the native population. Abuses among the clergy were flagrant, and he devoted his energies (and suffering) to this area first.

He began the long and arduous visitation of an immense archdiocese, studying the language, staying two or three days in each place, often with neither bed nor food. He confessed every morning to his chaplain, and celebrated Mass with intense fervor. Among those to whom he gave the Sacrament of Confirmation was St. Rose of Lima, and possibly St. Martin de Porres. After 1590 he had the help of another great missionary, St. Francis Solanus.

His people, though very poor, were sensitive, dreading to accept public charity from others. Turibius solved the problem by helping them anonymously.

Comment:

The Lord indeed writes straight with crooked lines. Against his will, and from the unlikely springboard of an Inquisition tribunal, this man became the Christlike shepherd of a poor and oppressed people. God gave him the gift of loving others as they needed it.

Share

Comments are closed.


WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera