Standard Article

Gregory the Illuminator (257–325)

  1. Helen Sybil Mooradkanian

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0617

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Mooradkanian, H. S. 2011. Gregory the Illuminator (257–325). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Gregory the Illuminator, an Armenian nobleman, is recognized for evangelizing Armenia so rapidly that Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as the state religion in ad 301 (some date it at 285). Gregory first converted the king, Trdat III (Tiridates), and with his support led massive “people movements” to Christ. This is the first case where a king's conversion led to the conversion of a nation. It preceded by a dozen years Constantine's edict of 313 whereby Christians were tolerated but paganism not banned, as it was in Armenia.


  • gregory the illuminator (257–325);
  • evangelizing armenia, rapidly;
  • gregory, combining preaching, healing, with mass baptisms;
  • total allegiance to Jesus christ;
  • founded the armenian apostolic church