On Sunday, June 10, the Armenian Church will celebrate the Feast of the Catholic Church of Holy Etchmiadzin (canonically known as Don Sourp Etchmiadzini Gatoghiguh Yegeghetzin). The cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was built in A.D. 303, after St. Gregory the Illuminator had a vision in which Christ struck the ground with a golden hammer and instructed Gregory to erect a church on the site.
The feast day commemorates the founding of the Universal Church (the idea that there was one church, founded by Jesus Christ and spread by the Apostles) and St. Gregory’s vision. It follows the Feast of St. Gregory the Enlightener (his deliverance from the pit), which will be observed on Saturday, June 9.
Earlier this week, the Armenian Church also honored St. Hripsime and St. Gayane, who refused the advances of Armenia’s pagan King Drtad, and were eventually killed on the king’s orders. Despite their suffering, the women never lost their Christian faith.