The Khor Virap is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the little village, Lusarat, Ararat plain in Armenia, near the border with Turkey. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.
Lusarat is a town of Armenia of 2780 inhabitants in the province of Ararat. On its territory is situated the monastery of Khor Virap.
Gevork Chavoush (1870-1907) is legendary fedayeen (guerilla) famous for his courage and valor in the beginning of the 20th century. He led the Armenian uprising against the Turks in Sassun province from 1904 to 1907, when he was killed in a battle.
Khor Virap is notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Grigor Lusavorich, who later became Saint Gregory the Illuminator, was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia.
The pagan King Trdat III imprisoned St Gregory the Illuminator in a well here for 12 years, where he was secretly fed by Christian women. The king was later cursed with some strange illnesses but miraculously cured by St Gregory.
Historians contend that Trdat may have switched allegiances to tap into the strength of Armenia’s growing Christian community in the face of Roman aggression.
In any case the king converted to Christianity and St Gregory became the first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and set about building churches on top of pagan temples and teaching the faith.
The scenery of the rural district of Mt. Ararat, Khor Virap Monastery and the Lusarat town is very beautiful.