This all took place at Valarshapat, where Gregory, anxious to fix a site on which to build shrines for the relics of Ripsime and Gaiana, saw the Son of God come down in a sheen of light, the stars of heaven attending, and smite the earth with a golden hammer till the nether world resounded to his blows.
The vision at Valarshapat was invented later by the Armenians when they broke with the Greeks, in order to give to their church the semblance, if not of apostolic, at least of divine origin.
The march of Arab conquest kept the Armenians friendly to Byzantium for a few years; but in 718 the catholicus John of Odsun ascended the throne and at the council of Manazkert in 728 repeated and confirmed the anathemas against Chalcedon and the tome of Leo, that had been first pronounced by the catholicus Babken in 491 at a synod held in Valarshapat by the united Armenian, Georgian or Iberian, and Albanian churches.
Since 1441 the chief catholicus has sat at Echmiadzin, the convent of Valarshapat, now part of Russian Armenia.
The catholicus of Valarshapat is nominally chosen by all Armenians.