The Commemoration Day of the discovery of the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator is one of the three significant feast days dedicated to the memory of the Patron Saint of Armenia.
According to Holy Tradition, following Armenia’s conversion to Christianity, in his final years, St. Gregory led an ascetic life in the cave of Mane on the Mountain named Sepuh where he died in 326 A.D. Shepherds, finding his body, buried him not recognizing the Armenian Pontiff. One of his students, Garnik from Basen sees a vision, where Gregory identifies the location of his relics. The relics were thereupon transferred to the village of Tordan, in the province of Daranagh, and buried there.
The relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator are one of our most revered within the Armenian Church, as well as all Christian Churches. Following their discovery, some were taken to various places for safekeeping, among them Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Byzantium, and Italy. The Right Hand of the Saint, preserved in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, is one of the most important sanctities of the Armenian Church, and is used by the Catholicos of All Armenians during the blessing of the Holy Chrism (Muron). To commemorate the day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in our Churches.