Nerses was educated in Cappadocia (Turkey) by St. Basil. He married and had a son (St. Isaac) before his wife died. After becoming an official at the Armenian court, he was ordained a priest. King Arshak chose him as patriarch of the Armenian Church. A reformer, he founded monasteries and built hostels for the poor and lepers. But he ran afoul of Arshak for his model of church governance and was banished when he shunned Arshak for murdering family members. He returned after Arshak’s death, but found King Pap even worse. Pap invited him to dinner and had him poisoned. Nerses the Great has always been venerated as a martyr.