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September 30

Saint of the day:
Saint Gregory the Enlightener

Saint Jerome

The Story of Saint Gregory the Enlightener

Gregory the Enlightener was also surnamed the Illuminator. He is of unknown origins, but unreliable tradition has him the son of Anak, a Parthian who murdered King Khosrov I of Armenia when Gregory was a baby. The infant Gregory was smuggled to Caesarea to escape the dying Khosrov's order to murder the entire family, was baptized, married, and had two sons. When King Khosrov's son, Tiridates, regained his father's throne, Gregory was permitted to return, but he incurred the King's displeasure by his support of the Armenian Christians and his conversion activities. In time, Tiridates was converted to Christianity by Gregory and proclaimed Christianity the official religion of Armenia. Gregory was consecrated bishop of Ashtishat, set about organizing the Church in Armenia and building a native clergy, and worked untiringly to evangelize the Armenians. Curiously enough, he set into motion the process that was to make his See a hereditary episcopate when he consecrated his son Aristakes to succeed him. He then retired to a hermitage on Mount Manyea in Taron and remained there until his death. Many extravagant legends and miracles were attributed to him, many of which are celebrated as feasts by the Armenians. He is considered the apostle of Armenia. His feast day is September 30th.





The relics & Shrine of Saint Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia

Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan,_Yerevan








Lahmajoon (Armenian)

Armenian pizzas
A delightful snack from the Middle East

INGREDIENTS: Makes 10-12

Dough:**See Note

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

  • ½ tsp sugar

  • ½ cup lukewarm water

  • 3 cups all purpose white flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

** NOTE: You can use medium sized fluffy flour tortillas and skip the dough making. Be sure when you bake the lahmajoon/lahmacun, that you oil the baking sheet when you bake them.


  • olive oil for the brushing the dough before the topping

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 cloves crushed garlic

  • 1 large onion, grated

  • 1 tomato skinned and chopped
    – put tomato in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water
    for 2 minutes, remove and peel.
    Leave seeds and juice with the tomato, do not discard.

  • salt to taste

  • 1 - 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 12-16 oz ground lamb - can use 85% fat ground beef.

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 large lemon, juice of

  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced

  • 1 pickled Jalapeno pepper finely chopped

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 cup fresh spearmint, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. paprika

Making the dough:

Be sure when you bake the lahmajoon/lahmacun, that you oil the baking sheet when you bake them.

  1. In a small bowl mix yeast and the sugar.

  2. Add 1/2 cup of warm water, stir well, cover the bowl. Keep the mixture in a warm place for about 15 minutes to full activate the yeast.

  3. Add the yeast mixture to the remaining flour and water.

  4. Knead well until the dough is soft and smooth. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover and let sit in a warm area of your kitchen for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

  5. Take the dough out and punch down.

  6. Divide the dough into 10-12 balls just slightly smaller than a tennis ball.

  7. Roll and set aside on a floured surface and cover with a damp towel.

  8. Set the oven at 450º F.


Making the topping:

  1. Add the onion, garlic and butter to a skillet and sautè until translucent.

  2. Take off the stove and let cool.

  3. Take all your prepared vegetables and place them all in a large bowl. If you have a food processor, this would be the time to give all the vegetables a few pulses to get them all into a fine spreadable size. DO NOT PROCESS TO AN UNIDENTIFIABLE MUSH, just chop!

  4. Add pepper flakes, salt, sugar, paprika, cumin and lemon juice into a large bowl with the other ingredients and mix well by hand until you have well mixed, spreadable topping.

  5. Take balls of dough and roll into a round, circle or an oval measuring up to 1/16 to 1/8 inches in thickness.

  6. Place on a baking sheet that has been oiled with olive oil, canola oil or cooking spray.

  7. Brush each round with olive oil (Extra Virgin is best).

  8. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of the topping and spread the topping very thinly. Make sure you have an even layer. Each baking sheet will hold two lahmajoon/lahmacun. You should have 3 or 4 baking sheets to keep things moving. Keep your eye on the sheets in the oven to make sure they bake evenly. You may have to move things around the oven.The oven should remain at 450°F – not too high and not too low. Since you are going to be constantly opening the oven, the temperature ideally will stay between 400º F and 350ºF. Cooked Lahmajoon/Lahmacuns are crispy at the edges and pliable in the center.

  9. You can stack your finished lahmajoon/lahmacun topping side to topping side and bottom to bottom. Cover them with a damp towel to keep them from getting too brittle.

  10. You are now ready to fill them with fresh parsley, cucumber slices, sweet onion slices or other fresh veggies and a drizzle of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, roll them up and enjoy these Anatolian delights.

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