Pilgrimage Day of the Amaras monastery: Remembrance of St. Grigoris Patriarch

July 24 is the remembrance day of St. Grigoris, whose relics are buried in Amaras. Amaras, a monastery of the Artsakh Diocese, was the site for a large pilgrimage and Holy Mass served by the Primate of the Artsakh Diocese, Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan. His Excellency bestowed his blessing upon the gathered. He expressed aspirations for unity between Armenia, Artsakh, and diaspora, strong army, return of captives, as well as the salvation of souls of martyrs.

His Excellency noted that current challenges faced by our people may be overcome with steadfast faith in our Lord Jesus Christ through his servants, among them st. Grigoris. St. Grigoris is one of the twin sons of Vrtanes, the eldest son of Gregory the Illuminator. Born in 295 in Caesarea, he came to Armenia with his father and brother Husik in 310. In 320, when Grigoris was barely twenty-five years old, he has ordained bishop and sent to the Caucasus, where he has preached Christianity and established churches.

Grigoris was killed by order of Sanesan, king of the Mazkuts in 337, and his relics were buried by his deacons in the village of Amaras, Artsakh. They were housed in a chapel in 489 by Vachagan III the Pious, King of Caucasian Albania. The intercession of st. Grigoris was sought by the gathering at his tomb, located in a cellar under the altar to renewed their vows with the Lord and received Holy Communion.

Holy Mass was followed by sharing bread and celebrations near the monastery organized by Martuny communities, among them performance by Martuni ensemble "Knar" and the Stepanakert State Choir.