23 փետրվար, 2015 21:37

Pope Francis Designates St. Gregory of Narek as Doctor of the Church

????????????????According to the Associated Press, Pope Francis has declared St. Gregory of Narek, a 10th-century monk, poet, mystic and theologian, who is a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, a doctor of the church on February 23.

This designation is one of the highest honors the church has bestowed on an Armenian monk. It is anticipated that Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey. AP writes that the title of doctor of the church is reserved for people whose writings have greatly served the universal church.

St. Gregory of Narek was born circa 950 to a family of scholarly churchmen. St. Gregory entered Narek Monastery on Lake Van in Western Armenia (in present-day Turkey) as a child. According to the Armenian Church, Narek Monastery was a thriving center of learning at a time when Armenia was experiencing a renaissance in literature, art, architecture and theology.

St. Gregory of Narek's work, Book of Prayers also known as the Book of Lamentations is his best known work. St. Gregory called his book an "encyclopedia of prayer for all nations" and considered it his last testament: "It's letters like my body, its message like my soul."

The actual date he wrote the Book of Lamentations is not known, but it is believed that he finished it around 1001-1002, one year prior to his death.