Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia (257-332) (Caesarea/Kayseri)

Gregory was born around 257 in Armenia, a state located between the rival empires of Rome and Persia. His father was assassinated when he was an infant, and his friends took him to Caesarea (modern Kay- seri) in Cappadocia, where he was raised in the Christian faith.

Around 280, Gregory returned to Armenia. Through Gregory’s faithful preaching and holy lifestyle, the king became a Christian and made Christianity the official religion of Armenia. Around 300, Gregory began to serve as Armenia’s first bishop. He died in 332, around two years after the dedication of Constantinople.

The Church of Gregory the Illuminator Caesarea/Kayseri

The Church of Gregory the Illuminator was built in the mid-1800s in the modern Turkish city of Kayseri. It was restored and consecrated on November 7, 2009, with a worship service. It can be visited with official permission.