Gregory's father, Anak, was a Parthian assassin sent to kill King Khosrov of Armenia. I guess that Khosrov was too friendly with the Romans for Parthia's comfort. Anak was in turn killed, and his son Gregory might have also been done in, had not a pair of foster parents whisked the boy away to Caesarea in Cappadocia (Turkey). They raised him as a devout Christian; he married, had two sons, and at some point returned to Armenia.
King Trdat the Great (Tiridates III) wasn't really eager to have the son of his father's assassin in the country, even if he had moved to Roman territory. He didn't really welcome a Christian either, since he subscribed to the indigenous polytheistic beliefs. So he had Gregory arrested, tortured, and thrown into a pit used as a pauper's grave. It was full of decomposing corpses, rats, snakes, and filth. They figured that Greg would die there, but instead he survived for fifteen years, living on the meager rations dropped to him by a pious widow. Greg's own wife, by the way, was a nun by this time, having declined to move to Armenia with him.
|Note the Armenian script by his right hand|
|Greg's right hand, in Lebanon|
Greg's relics were venerated in Armenia until the Iconoclasts brought their intolerance to town. They they were hustled off before they were lost. Now they are spread out from Italy to Lebanon. Oh, and the Catholics and Orthodox celebrate him on September 30, but to the Armenian Church (which ought to have the final say, really) his feast is on June 9.
Last year's post on Saint Jerome, one of the four Latin Doctors of the Church, is linked here.