Feast Day of St. Nerses the Great and Bishop Khat
Saturday, July 10, 2021
This day we remember two great saints, St. Nerses the Great, and St. Khat the Bishop, who closely worked together during their lifetime.
After St. Nerses became a widower, he served king Arshak II at the court.
When Catholicos Paren passed away, St. Nerses was considered the most suitable candidate, and therefore he became Catholicos. From the year 353 to 373 AD, St. Nerses the Great, a descendant of St. Gregory the Illuminator, was Catholicos.
In his first year as Catholicos, St. Nerses convened the Council of Ashtishat, in order to establish rules and regulations for church administration, and moreover to establish Christian institutions: orphanages and schools, homes for the poor, hospitals and leprosaria, monasteries and convents.
St. Khat the Bishop, from the village of Marak, served the Church faithfully and dedicatedly. St. Khat, full of compassion to the poor and the impaired, promoted and implemented St. Nerses’s plans.
The Gospel was preached to the people, invoking the Armenians to live a moral life with Christian values, and to not return to pagan practices.
Because of his strong stands against the heresy of Arianism, St. Nerses was exiled for nine years by the pro-Arian king Arshak. When Arshak’s son, Pap became king, St. Nerses returned to Armenia. The new king however did not lead a very godly, Christian life, upon which St. Nerses excommunicated him. Invited to a dinner with King Pap, who claimed that he wanted to reconcile with the Church, St. Nerses was poisoned, and died.
St. Nerses and St. Khat are to be remembered for their great efforts and dedication to the Christian faith of the Armenians.