A New, Armenian Doctor of the Church

Pope Francis has named Saint Gregory of Narek, a tenth-century Armenian monk and poet, a Doctor of the Church.  In Armenian churches, St. Gregory’s poetic texts have been and continue to this day to be read liturgically.  More information here:

Updated link: Vatican Radio

I will confess that I had never heard of this saint.

I note that St. Gregory’s elevation to the group of Doctors of the Church comes in the year of the centenary of the Armenian genocide, in which between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians lives were lost.


  1. Jim, many thanks – that does seem to be it. It looks like it could be an approachable reading series for Lent.

  2. Over at the First Thoughts blog (affiliated with First Things), law professor Mark Movsesian notes that St. Gregory Narek, as a priest of the Armenian Apostolic Church, belonged to a church that is not fully in communion with the Catholic Church, having broken over the Council of Chalcedon several centuries before St. Gregory’s life. St. Gregory would not have thought of himself as Catholic.

    Movsesian, himself a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church, notes that Francis is breaking some potentially momentous ground, presumably with ecumenical resonance. The post provides some interesting details on the theological differences, as well as how it is that the Catholic Church considers St. Gregory a saint, much less a doctor.


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