Discovery of Relics of Catholicos St. Grigoris
October 11 of this year is marked in the calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church as the Feast of Discovery of Relics of Catholicos St. Grigoris of Aghvank and the commemoration of 12 Armenian hermits.
On this occasion, the Artsakh Diocese organized a pilgrimage to the Amaras Monastery named after St. Gregory.
The Liturgy was given by the pastor of the Church of the Holy Mother of God in Askeran, Father Mesrop Mkrtchyan. In his sermon, the priest spoke about the meaning and details of the day and then asked the Saints for the security and peace of our state. Father Mesrop called those present to be devoted to the Christian faith, to carry the light of Christ and to enlighten those around them, following the example of St. Gregory.
Today we try to communicate with the mentioned Saints according to the measure of our faith and God-given grace. The main purpose of our stay here is to honor the memory of these Saints, and the second is to make a vow that we must remain faithful to God, to the Christian faith, to the church, and be worthy descendants of our holy martyrs and patriarchs in the person of Pope Gregory. We must bring light in our hearts and with this light enlighten ourselves, our environment, our Artsakh, and Armenia. This torch of faith should burn brightly in the heart of every Armenian.
It depends only on our vow whether our number will increase or not, whether we will multiply or not. The more the love of Christ is in us, the more we spread this love around us, the stronger our army will be. We will have an invincible Christian army that will move mountains, that will be able to make the impossible possible.
We are gathered here today to pray for our loved ones, for the health of our sick, for peace and tranquility of the souls of our perished and martyrs, as well as for the healing of the wounded. Let us pray for the return of all our captives, to ask God to ease their yoke, their pain and suffering in the name of Christ. They are Christians, they have Christian seeds sown by our fathers, and the enemy wants to uproot these seeds. So, let's pray and ask for the intercession of the Saints mentioned today in the person of the martyr Saint Gregory so that God will grant us peace. Believe me, you cannot rely on people, people cannot do anything even if they want to. Only God can make the impossible possible. So let's pray to God as the guarantor of our safety, for a peaceful and secure future for our children.
Believe me, you cannot rely on people, people cannot do anything even if they want to. Only God can make the impossible possible. So let's pray to God as the guarantor of our safety, for a peaceful and secure future for our children. Let our hearts be filled with divine light, hope, love, and faith. "
Pontiff St Grigoris was the elder son of the Catholicos Vrtanes. St. Grigoris was the Catholicos of the provinces Aghvank (Alans). He has reconstructed and renovated all Churches and preached the Word of God to the people. He has preached Chris’s doctrine also in the mazkuts’ country. However, mazkuts’ mode of life strongly varied from the Christian mode of life. That is why the Grigoris was killed there by order of King Sanesan in 337.
The relics of the saint were rediscovered only in 489 AD, by the efforts of the most celebrated monarch of Armenia’s eastern lands—Vachagan the Pious, King of Aghvank.
When Vachagan arrived at Amaras, he found many tombs in the church’s graveyard and near the church’s walls, but could not possibly identify which one belonged to St. Grigoris. Saddened by this fact, the king sent royal orders to all quarters of his domain, asking the clergy to pray God in an effort to solicit divine guidance for the discovery of the resting place of the saint. During successive night vigils, King Vachagan and members of the diet had visions in which St. Grigoris descended from the heavens and showed the location of his grave. After experiencing these visions, King Vachagan immediately organized a church procession, which, armed with ornamented crosses, gonfalons and church banners, headed south to Amaras.
To the joy of the King and his people the relics were discovered—indeed buried under the wall of the church. King Vachagan the Pious removed the relics from the grave, rinsed St. Grigoris’ bones in sweet wine and ordered to finally complete the construction of the Amaras cathedral.