VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally will proclaim a 10th-century Armenian monk as a doctor of the church when he celebrates a liturgy April 12 with leaders and faithful of the Armenian Catholic Church.
The Vatican had announced in February the pope’s decision to confer the title “doctor of the church” on St. Gregory of Narek. The title indicates that the saint’s writings are considered to offer key theological insights for the faith.
Earlier, the Vatican had announced that the pope would celebrate a liturgy April 12 with members of the Armenian community, who are preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide April 24. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians — more than half the Armenian population at the time — died in a forced evacuation from their traditional territory in the Ottoman-Turkish Empire from 1915 to 1918. Turkey rejects the accusation of genocide, saying the deaths were due largely to disease and famine.
Pope Francis will concelebrate the liturgy with Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, the Vatican said.
St. Gregory of Narek is considered one of the leading figures of Armenian theology and thought, and many of his prayers are included in the Armenian Divine Liturgy.
He was born in 950 in the Armenian town of Andzevatsik, located in present-day Turkey. He entered a monastery at a young age and was ordained a priest at 25. He lived at the monastery at Narek his whole priestly life and taught at the monastic school.
His best-known writings include a commentary on the Song of Songs and his “Book of Lamentations,” now commonly known as “Narek.”
“Narek” is considered his masterpiece. It includes 95 prayers and has been translated into more than 30 languages.
St. Gregory died in Narek around 1005. His feast day in the Armenian churches is Oct. 13; he is remembered in the Roman Catholic Church Feb. 27.
Designating him a doctor of the church, Pope Francis will bring to 36 the number of saintly theologians to hold the title.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103