Armenian church commemorates St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine -
Armenian church commemorates St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine
The Armenian Church commemorates the day when the relics of St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) and Bishop Atanagine were transferred to Armenia. Qahana.am reports that Mariam, the wife of St. Gregory the Illuminator, had a brother named Atanagine. He was the Bishop of Pitacton, and died while defending the faith. After his consecration in Caesarea, St. Gregory brought the relics of St. John and Bishop Atanagine to Armenia, and buried them in locations named Innaknya and Bagavan, in the region of Ashtishat, and built martyriums in those sites.
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After baptizing King Tiridates and the royal court in 301 AD, St. Gregory the Illuminator celebrated Divine Liturgy and gave instructions that the memories of the St. John and Bishop Atanagine should be commemorated on that specific day of every year instead of the feast of Vanatour, the pagan god of the New Year.
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