The Faith Ornament takes its inspiration from the Khor Virap monastery which is the symbolic birthplace of Christianity in Armenia. It was at Khor Virap (Armenian for “deep dungeon”) where the man who would become Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in a pit for 14 years before he helped turn Armenia into the first Christian nation.
Before attaining sainthood, Grigor Lusavorich was held in the bottom of a pit, where he was secretly fed by a local Christian woman who kept him alive. Later, after curing King Trdat III of a disease, he became the religious mentor of the monarch. During this time, Grigor would be instrumental in converting the king to Christianity. In 301 AD, King Trdat III proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia – marking the first nation to adopt Christianity officially.
“I first visited Khor Virap as a teenager over 40 years ago. The feeling I got while climbing through a small hole and descending into the dungeon where St. Gregory was thrown to die is something that I will never forget. The idea that a man could survive in those conditions for so many years was astonishing to me and is a testament to the depth of his Christian faith.”
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