Ecumenical commemoration of Saint Gregory of Narek

1 Mar 2022

To mark the liturgical memory of Saint Gregory of Narek, Doctor of the Church, an ecumenical commemoration was held on Monday 28 February 2022 at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

The event commenced in the Church of Saints Domenic and Sixtus with an ecumenical prayer co‒presided by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church to the Holy See, attended also by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, who delivered the homily, Archbishop Ian Ernest, Personal Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See, and Archbishop Boutros Maryati, Archbishop of Aleppo of the Armenians.

This was followed in the Minor Aula of the Angelicum by a presentation of the book “From the Depths of the Heart”, edited by Professor Abraham Terian (New York). In his greeting, Cardinal Koch reflected that while the message of Saint Gregory of Narek was “profoundly rooted in the experience of his people, it was of universal and ecumenical scope”, mentioning in particular three aspects of this message: sincerity, faith in God in the midst of difficulty, and universal solidarity rooted in human fraternity. The Cardinal highlighted that the recent rediscovery of Saint Gregory of Narek was one of the fruits of the ecumenical movement and that his proclamation as Doctor of the universal Church by Pope Francis in 2015 was a “magnificent example of the exchange of gifts in the service of the edification of the one Church”.

The ensuing presentation of Professor Marco Bais of the Pontifical Oriental Institute was followed by Professor Terian’s lecture entitled “The Sacramental Theology of Saint Gregory of Narek”.

The commemoration was organized by the Representation of the Armenian Apostolic Church to the Holy See, the Institute for Ecumenical Studies of the Angelicum, and the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See.