According to the Christian tradition, Abgar King of Edessa(Antioch) is the first King, who, during the lifetime of Christ, heard of His miracles, believed that He is the Son of God.
Based on ancient historical sources of Movses Khorenatsi, the Armenian Church recognizes Abgar as a king of Armenia.
The tradition tells that Abgar was incurable and sent a letter to Christ asking Him to come to his own city to heal him and live there.
The Savior answered that He must finish His mission in Israel, and then promised to send him one of His disciples to heal Abgar and to spread the gospel of eternal life.
Abgar’s messenger, along with Christ’s answer, also brought His imprinted icon, which the Lord had imprinted Himself with His face on the fabric.
After the ascension of Christ, one of His apostles, Thadys came to Edessa, healed Abgar and all the sick of the city, preaching the gospel. The whole city believed in Christ and converted, turned away from idolatry, and was baptized. Then the Apostle Thaddeus went to Armenia to preach to Abgar’s nephew, King Sanatruk of Armenia.
Thus, the faith of Abgar became the light of Christianity in Edessa and later in the entire Armenian world.
On August 24, 2009, the board of the Central Bank of Armenia adopted a decision on introducing a new banknote with a nominal value of AMD 100,000. The new banknote depicts King Abgar V, described as King of Armenian Mesopotamia. The front of the banknote depicts Abgar pointing at the royal flag bearing an image of the Mandylion. The reverse of the banknote depicts disciple Thaddeus of Edessa handing the canvas to King Abgar V and his consequent miraculous healing.
Read full story how Christianity was later adapted in Armenia, in 301, after Saint Gregory the Illuminator’s terrible Prosecution at “Khor Virap” pit