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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:04 PM


Huffington Post
Feb 23 2015

The Associated Press | By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has given a gift of sorts to Armenian
Catholics commemorating the 100th anniversary of the massacre of
Armenians by Ottoman Turks, declaring a revered 10th-century mystic
and poet, St. Gregory of Narek, a doctor of the church.

The Vatican said Monday that Francis had agreed to bestow one of
the highest church honors on Gregory after the decision was taken by
the Vatican's saint-making office. The designation, however, clearly
reflects a desire of Francis, who as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
was particularly close to the Armenian community in Buenos Aires.

The title of doctor of the church is reserved for people whose writings
have greatly served the universal church. Only 35 people have been
given the title, including St. Augustine, St. Francis de Sales and
St. Teresa of Avila.

Gregory, who lived around 950 to 1005, is considered one of the
most important figures of medieval Armenian religious thought and
literature. His Book of Prayers, also called the Book of Lamentations,
is his best-known work, a mystical poem in 95 sections about "speaking
with God from the depths of the heart."

The designation comes a few weeks before Francis celebrates a Mass
in St. Peter's Basilica to commemorate the centenary of the start of
the Armenian massacre.

Several European countries recognize the massacres as a genocide;
Turkey, however, denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying
the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of
civil war and unrest.

Francis provoked Turkish anxiety when in June 2013 he told a visiting
delegation of Armenian Christians that the massacre was "the first
genocide of the 20th century."

The Vatican spokesman subsequently said the remarks were in no way a
formal or public declaration and therefore didn't constitute a public
assertion by the pope that genocide took place.



#2 Yervant1


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Posted 27 February 2015 - 10:27 AM


Feb 26 2015

February 26, 2015 by Carl McColman 0 Comments

Gregory of Narek, from a 1173 manuscript (public domain image).

Vatican Radio announced earlier this week that Pope Francis has
declared a tenth century Armenian saint and mystic, Saint Gregory of
Narek (Grigor Narekatsi), a Doctor of the Universal Church.

St. Gregory of Narek is the first new Doctor of the Church appointed
by Pope Francis. The last saints to be given this title were Sts.

Hildegard of Bingen and Juan of Avila, conferred by Pope Benedict XVI
in 2012. Before that, the last Doctor of the Church was St. Therèse
of Lisieux, declared by Pope John Paul II in 1997. In fact, Gregory
of Narek is only the thirty-sixth saint to be declared a Doctor of
the Church. The Catholic Church has officially canonized somewhere in
the area of ten thousand saints, so only 1/3 of 1% of saints receive
this honor.

So what is a Doctor of the Church? According to the Catholic
Encyclopedia, "Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this
title on account of the great advantage the whole Church has derived
from their doctrine." In plainer language, a Doctor of the Church
is someone whose theological or mystical writings have been declared
exemplary for teaching the truth, beauty and splendor of the Christian
faith. In the Middle Ages, seven Church Fathers were seen as the
original Doctors of the Church: St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose,
St. Augustine and St. Jerome in the West, and St. John Chrysostom, St.

Basil the Great, and St. Gregory Nazianzen in the East. But over the
centuries a number of other renowned saints have been added to this
elite group of writers/teachers, including some familiar names like
St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bede the Venerable, and St. Teresa of Avila.

Some of the other Doctors are perhaps not as well known in today's
world, at least outside of scholarly or Church-geek circles: folks
like St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Isidore of Seville and St. Peter
Chrysologus are hardly household names. Still, their writings are
considered exemplary (maybe we need to dust them off and check
them out).

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart: The Armenian Prayerbook
of St. Gregory of Narek ("Book of Lamentations")

Part of what I love about the Doctors of the Church is that many of
them are mystics. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Catherine of Siena,
St. Bonaventure, St. Francis de Sales, St. Ephrem, and St. John of the
Cross all are not only great saints, theologians, and Church Doctors,
but also renowned contemplatives. If the ivory tower has made the
terrible mistake of separating spirituality and theology, the Church --
at least in its recognition of its best and most important teachers --
is less susceptible to that fundamental error.

So St. Gregory of Narek joins a small but august group of teachers,
writers, theologians and mystics. But who is he, and why should
we care?

I'll confess: before Tuesday I had never heard of St. Gregory of Narek
(it's a humbling thought: how many other great contemplatives and
teachers of Divine Union are out there, their writings gathering dust
in monastery libraries because they haven't been noticed by someone
with the influence to get them noticed today?). But I can take comfort
in the fact that he is not listed in The Oxford Dictionary of the
Christian Church, which is a pretty exhaustive resource. So needless
to say, this Armenian saint has been on the obscure list.

So of course, when the news broke, I immediately read what I could
find, and downloaded the anthology of his mystical writings that is
currently available on the Kindle, Speaking with God from the Depths
of the Heart: The Armenian Prayerbook of St. Gregory of Narek.

According to Vatican Radio press release,

St. Gregory of Narek is widely revered as one of the greatest figures
of medieval Armenian religious thought and literature. Born in the
city of Narek in about 950 A.D., St. Gregory ... and his two brothers
entered monastic life at an early age, and St. Gregory soon began
to excel in music, astronomy, geometry, mathematics, literature,
and theology ... He lived most of his life in the monastery of Narek,
where he taught at the monastic school ... St. Gregory's masterpiece
is considered to be his Book of Lamentations. Also known as Narek, it
is comprised of 95 prayers, each of which is titled "Conversation with
God from the depth of the heart." A central theme is man's separation
from God, and his quest to reunite with Him. St. Gregory described the
work this way: "Its letters like my body, its message like my soul."

He called his book an "encyclopedia of prayer for all nations." It
was his hope that it would serve as a guide to prayer for people all
over the world.

Wikipedia offers this praise for the Book of Lamentations.

In 95 prayers, St. Gregory ... translate(s) feelings of suffering and
humility into an offering of words thought to be pleasing to God ... it
is an edifice of faith for the ages, unique in Christian literature
for its rich imagery, its subtle theology, its Biblical erudition, and
the sincere immediacy of its communication with God ... For Narekatsi,
peoples' absolute goal in life should be to reach to God, and to reach
wherever human nature would unite with godly nature, thus erasing
the differences between God and men. As a result, the difficulties of
earthly life would disappear. According to him, mankind's assimilation
with God is possible not by logic, but by feelings.

It's a lengthy book -- about the same length as the collected works
of Saint John of the Cross -- so needless to say, I've just begun to
dip into it. But here is a taste of St. Gregory's writing for your
devotional consideration.

For as Job said, the snares of evil are all around, from these I
cannot escape.

But by your good will if the light of compassion should shine, if
the door of your mercy should open, if the rays of your glory should
spread, if the care of your hand should be revealed, if the dawning
sun of life should break forth, if the sight of your beautiful morn
should be unveiled, if the bounty of your sweetness should flow forth,
if the stream from the maker's side should run, if the drops of your
pure love should shower down, if the good news of the dawn of your
grace should resound, if the tree of your gift should blossom, if the
parts of your blessed body are distributed, if the dashed expectations
should be reassembled, if the silenced sound of your beckoning voice,
Lord, should again be heard, if your banished peace should return,
then with this blessing shall the faith of steady hope be forever mine
finding refuge in the Holy Spirit, who with the Father is worshiped
with the voice of sweetness and together with you bathed in light
too bright for human eyes.

Grant life, forgiveness and heavenly bliss to me, a sinner, holding
your incorruptible grace, the true token of faith, as an indestructible

This we pray in the name of your awe-inspiring, mighty and holy
oneness and the lordship of your three-fold person beyond human
words and understanding to you, who are in essence and in existence
eternally exalted, crowned, clothed and enthroned with sweetness,
mercy and benevolence.

Indeed through you, O merciful Lord, all things, in all ways, for
all people, are possible.

To you glory here, now and forever and in the eternity to come on
the great day of revelation. Amen.

-- from Prayer 25 (Kindle Locations 3601-3639)

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to getting to know
better this saint from 1000 years ago.

N.B.: If you want a copy of St. Gregory's Book, get it on the Kindle.

The Kindle version costs a reasonable $9.99, while the hard copy
edition is currently out of print -- and given the Saint's new-found
celebrity status, used copies are going for about $400. I'm sure it
will come back into print soon enough, but why wait? Get the Kindle
edition and start reading it now.


#3 Yervant1


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Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:02 AM

Taking a leaf from the Armenians' book

Sacred Mysteries: the ancient civilisation of Armenia remains exotic
and unknown in the West, but a holy monk from lake Van has just been
declared a Doctor of the Church

St Gregory of Narek: "This book will cry out in my place."
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By Christopher Howse
7:00AM GMT 28 Feb 2015

There's a little book on my shelf that I can't read. It is in
Armenian, and I cannot even make out the attractive curly alphabet.
Byron, by all accounts, did rather better, taking lessons in the
language, from 1816, at the monastery where my book was printed.

This is at San Lazzaro, an island in Venice, between San Giorgio and
the Lido. It was granted to the Armenian monks in 1717. The little
community was brought there in that year by their first abbot Mechitar
of Sebaste, after whom the monks are called Mechitarists.

This monastery was of Armenian Catholics, in other words, Armenians
who recognised the primacy of the Pope. The majority of Armenians
belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenians are fond of telling
you that theirs was the first country to adopt Christianity, in 301,
thanks to St Gregory the Illuminator. Armenia, with its Indo-European
language unrecognisably related to ours, has a proud civilisation, but
to say that its history in recent centuries has been difficult is an

I was thinking about the Armenians because, in the bright winter sun
on Tuesday, I stumbled across the Armenian church in Kensington, St
Sarkis, its white Portland stone shining exotically amid the red-brick
mansion flats around it. It was built in 1922 in memory of the
philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian's parents.

The Prince of Wales visited the Armenians in London a few weeks ago at
their nearby church of St Yeghiche as part of his efforts to draw
attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. He mentioned
the destruction last November (by Islamists of the al-Nusra Front) of
the Armenian church at Deir ez-Zor in Syria. It had been built as a
memorial to the thousands of Armenian refugees from Turkey who died
there in the second decade of the 20th century.

With these thoughts in mind, I discovered that Pope Francis had last
Saturday named a great Armenian saint, Gregory of Narek (pictured
above), as a Doctor of the Church. That is a rare title, there having
been only another 35 in the history of the Church - people like St
Jerome or St Athanasius.

St Gregory (950-1003) lived as a monk at Narek, near lake Van in what
is now Turkey. A little more than 1,000 years later, the great
monastery with its conical domes in the Armenian style was destroyed
and the Armenians living around it killed.

St Gregory of Narek's best-known work, the Book of Prayer, also called
the Lamentations, might have been written as a meditation on that
disaster and the episodess of martyrdom that have punctuated Armenia's
history. The saint's aim is to bring God's mercy to bear on mankind so
that it might share in God's nature. "This book will cry out in my
place, with my voice, as if it were me," he wrote. "May unspeakable
faults be confronted and the traces of evil wrung out."

Last year Pope Francis met the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic
Church, Karekin II, and spoke about martyrdom as a way of reuniting
the Church. He had sketched out his thoughts before by remarking: "In
some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a
Bible; and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are
Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic, or Orthodox."

In St Gregory of Narek's day, the Armenian Church, having followed its
own path after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, was presumed by the
Orthodox and by Western Catholics to be monophysite in teaching, with
false beliefs about the nature of Jesus as God and man. It could
hardly have been the case in practice, and the Catholic recognition of
St Gregory and other Armenian saints demonstrated a shared faith. The
proclamation of him as a doctor sets the seal on that unity of belief.
In these murderous times, Christians in the East need all the unity of
spirit they can muster.


#4 Yervant1


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Posted 15 August 2015 - 08:55 AM


12:12, 14 August, 2015

PARIS, AUGUST 14, ARMENPRESS. French TV channel KTOTV will show a
program consisting of seven parts dedicated to Saint Gregory of Narek.

Armenpress reports, referring to Armenews, that the program, called
"His Word is Faith" (translated into English), will tell be about
Saint Gregory of Narek's activity and his role.

The author of the program is French journalist and producer Reggie
Barnett. The first part of the program will be shown on August 30.

Pope Francis declared Armenian poet and monk, Saint Gregory of Narek,
a Doctor of the Universal Church on April 22 at the Holy Mass by the
Pope dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Saint Gregory of Narek is the 36th Doctor of the Universal Church
and the 2nd from the Oriental.


#5 Yervant1


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Posted 15 August 2015 - 08:55 AM


by MassisPost August 14, 2015, 6:05 am

VATICAN CITY -- The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican
City State announced that it is issuing stamps in honor of St. Gregory
of Narek and Blessed Ignatius Maloyan, CatholicCulture.org reports.

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office honors this year two prominent
figures of the Armenian Church, Blessed Ignatius Maloyan and Saint
Gregory of Narek, according to Vatican official website.

2015 marks the centenary of the martyrdom of Blessed Ignatius Maloyan,
who was Archbishop of Mardin, Turkey, and known for his closeness to
the faithful of his diocese and alertness to their material, social
and spiritual needs. He encouraged devotion to the Sacred Heart and
to the Mother of God in all the parishes. He showed his witness of
faith in the Risen Christ when he called on his priests to pray and
remain strong in the faith, given the tragic news and threats against
the Armenian people in 1915 which deeply marked not only Turkey,
but all of Europe.

"I've told you I shall live and die for the sake of my faith and
religion. I take pride in the Cross of my Lord and God," Maloyan
told his executioner, who was trying to make him renounce his faith
in order to save his life.

In April, 2015, Pope Francis declared Saint Gregory of Narek a Doctor
of the Church. Gregory of Narek lived most of his life in the monastery
of Narek, Armenia, where he led an existence marked by great humility
and charity. He is celebrated as one of the greatest poets of Armenian
literature. After his death, his tomb immediately became a pilgrimage
site for the Armenian people.


#6 MosJan


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:43 AM

Today the Vatican unveiled a statue of St. Gregory of Narek. In 2015, the 10th-century Armenian monk was approved by Pope Francis as a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. #ArmenianChurch #StGregoryOfNarek



#7 MosJan


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:44 AM


#8 MosJan


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:44 AM


#9 MosJan


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:45 AM


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#10 MosJan


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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:34 PM

#11 Yervant1


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Posted 08 June 2021 - 06:00 AM

Public Radio of Armenia
June 7 2021
Monument to Grigor Narekatsi unveiled in Poland – Public Radio of Armenia

Monument to St. Gregory of Narek (Grigor Narekatsi), Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Church, was unveiled near the khachkar dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the entrance of the Więta Góra Polanowska monastery complex in Poland, the Armenian Embassy in Poland informs.

Opening remarks were delivered by Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Poland Samvel Mkrtchyan, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church of Koshalin and Kolobrzeski Krzysztof Zadarko and Fr. Taron Ghulikyan, pastor of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

After the consecration ceremony and a joint prayer in memory of the Armenian martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Artsakh war, Ambassador Samvel Mkrtchyan handed a letter of thanks on behalf of the RA Embassy in Poland to Grigor Aslanyan, the initiator of the monument.

Attending the event were a number of representatives of the local authorities, Armenians from Poland and neighboring countries.


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