St. Gregory, Enlightener of Armenia



  1. Students should know the name of Gregory and be able to tell his story.
  2. Students should know the name of Tirdat, King of Armenia.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Tell the story of Gregory, Enlightener of Armenia.

                        For many years, Tirdat, young King of Armenia, lived in Rome. His father, the King of Armenia, had been killed by an angry murderer.  Finally, King Tirdat was coming home to his land of Armenia. On the way, he met a young man named Gregory. Young King Tirdat liked Gregory and invited him to come to Armenia with him and be in his court. Gregory went with Tirdat. Neither Gregory nor Tirdat knew a terrible secret: Gregory was the son of the murderer!

                        Soon they were home to Armenia. What a celebration! The Armenian people cheered for their young king as he rode through the streets. Tirdat went right away to the statue of the goddess Anahid, goddess of the earth. He put a wreath in front of the statue and worshipped the statue. All the other people did the same – all but Gregory. Gregory was a Christian. He told King Tirdat that he worshipped only Jesus, the Son of God.

                        King Tirdat was very angry. How dare Gregory disobey him, the king? He even found out that Gregory was the son of his father’s murderer.  He ordered Gregory thrown into prison. There Gregory stayed for 15 years in a dark pit. Have you been alive even that long? An old woman secretly brought the Christian prisoner food. After many years, King Tirdat became ill. His sister loved her brother and had dreams about the young man in prison. Maybe Gregory could help her brother, the king. She made up her mind to send for Gregory to be brought to the palace. There Gregory prayed for King Tirdat and he was healed.

                        Now that Gregory was out of prison, he began to tell the Armenian people about Jesus. He wanted to build churches for them to worship the Lord. One day he saw a vision of a column of fire with a cross on top. Here he would build his church – the first in all Armenia. Soon there were churches all over the country. Gregory went everywhere, telling people about the Christian faith, building churches, and helping the poor.

                        King Tirdat and all his family gathered by the river. One by one they were baptized by Gregory, now a bishop, and had communion for the first time. Armenia was now a Christian country. And the king who had thrown Gregory into prison became his greatest helper and friend. We call Gregory “Enlightener” because he brought God’s light to the Armenian people.


Add St. Gregory to your timeline.


  1. True/False Questions:

                                   True                                                     False

King Tirdat was from Armenia.                                 King Tirdat was king of Rome.

King Tirdat gave a wreath to the goddess.                Gregory worshipped the goddess.

Gregory saw a vision of fire and a cross.                   Gregory saw a vision of a lion.

Gregory is called the Enlightener.                              Gregory is called the Endarkener.


  1. Sing “This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.”

              “Gregory worshipped the goddess, NO! I’m gonna let it shine…”

              “Tirdat threw him into jail, I’m gonna let it shine…”

               Gregory prayed, the king was healed, I’m gonna let it shine…”

               Fiery cross a church to build, I’m gonna let it shine…”

               Enlightened all of Armenia, I’m gonna let it shine…”

               This little light of mine…”


  1. Have the teacher light a candle. Turn out the lights. What can you see? How bright is the candle? Does it give light to the room? Armenia was dark without God. But Gregory showed them the light of Jesus and then they could see.



  1. Make Glove Puppets: This story has 5 major “characters”: King Tirdat, Gregory, the old woman, Tirdat’s sister, and the statue of the goddess Anahid.  Take a cloth glove; stuff a cotton ball into each fingertip and tie off with a piece of yarn. Draw on faces. Decorate with yarn hair, gold pipe-cleaner crown, fabric or felt headscarves. If you want, a rectangle of felt below the head will resemble clothing. On the palm of the glove, glue a felt cross and red, orange, and yellow felt flames (or use glitter glue for flames). Can you tell the whole story now with your glove to illustrate?


  1. Close with prayer: Lord, help me to trust You even when things get bad, as did Gregory in the pit.