Divine Liturgy dedicated to the Feast of Commemoration of St. Gregory the Illuminator's tortures and commitment to the pit
On April 2, 2022, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church celebrated the first of three feasts dedicated to the commemoration of the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church – Feast of Commemoration of St. Gregory the Illuminator's Tortures and commitment to the pit. The church curtain opened on the occasion of the All-Christian feast and the faithful had an opportunity to receive Holy Communion.
On that day, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church commemorates the entrance of Gregory the Illuminator to the underground dungeon of Khor Virap and the terrible tortures he withstood there for 13 years.
With the blessings of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, Rev. Father Virap Ghazaryan offered Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the day in Saint Etchmiadzin church in Tbilisi.
During the Divine Liturgy, the celebrant preached about the mystery of the day. The faithful listened carefully about the tortures which St. Gregory the Illuminator withstood for the Christian faith, his entrance to Khor Virap, the power of resistance and great will demonstrated by him during 13 years, and his devotion to God and Christ. He stayed in the dungeon with snakes and reptiles, but he was feeling the presence of God and he did not give up. God empowered Gregory the Illuminator to stay in the dark dungeon waiting for the day when he would come out and to be considered as a saint and preach the Light.
Leaving the Khor Virap, Saint Gregory the Illuminator began to preach Christianity and became the first Pontiff of the Armenian Church.
The faithful lit candles in memory of St. Gregory the Illuminator and asked for the intercession of the All-Christian Saint in their prayers. Other Christian churches also commemorate Saint Gregory the Illuminator as an All-Christian saint.