Abbot and Doctor of the Church (950-1005)
+ Gregory was born in Andzevatsik, Armenia (now in present-day Turkey). A member of the Armenian Apostolic Church, he became a monk and was ordained a priest when he was 25.
+ He spent the remainder of his life in the monastery at Narek, teaching in the monastery school and, later, serving as abbot.
+ Honored as one of the greatest figures in Armenian theology, many of the prayers he composed are included in the Armenian Divine Liturgy.
+ Gregory is especially remembered for his commentary on the Song of Songs and for his Book of Lamentations, which includes 95 prayers.
+ Saint Gregory of Narek died in 1005 and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 2015. In 2021, Pope Francis added the liturgical commemoration of Saint Gregory to the General Roman calendar.
For prayer and reflection
“Through his strength I wait with certain expectation believing with unwavering hope that… I shall be saved by the Lord’s mighty hand and… that I will see the Lord himself in his mercy and compassion and receive the legacy of heaven.”—Saint Gregory of Narek
On this day, the Church also remembers the Passionist cleric Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Honored as the patron of expectant mothers and of clerics, Saint Gabriel died in 1862 and was canonized in 1920.
Lord God, who graciously imbued blessed Gregory of Narek with heavenly doctrine,
grant, through his intercession,
that we may keep that same teaching faithfully
and express it in what we do.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Doctors)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.