Pope speaks of prayer and Armenian monk St. Gregory of Narek

At his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on apostolic zeal, and reflected on the prayer of monks and nuns as the “beating heart” of the Church’s mission, Vatican News repots.

The Holy Father’s catechesis focused in particular on Saint Gregory of Narek, a medieval Armenian monk who, he said, offers a shining example of the universal, all-embracing love which Christians are called to.

The Pope pointed out that the Armenian people have been “clinging to the Cross of Christ throughout history,” highlighting the profound Christian tradition of the Armenian people, the first to embrace the Gospel. He also pointed out that St. Gregory of Narek teaches us “universal solidarity.”

Saint Gregory, the Pope said, spent almost his entire life in the monastery of Narek, where he “learned to peer into the depths of the human soul and, by fusing poetry and prayer together, achieved the pinnacle of both Armenian literature and spirituality.”

What most strikes him about the saint, the Holy Father went on, is his “universal solidarity” – his identification with all people and his decision to dedicate his life to praying for them.

He sees the faults of humanity not primarily in others, the Pope continued, but in himself, writing in his masterpiece the Book of Lamentations that “I have voluntarily taken upon myself all faults, from those of the first father down to the last of his descendants, and I have held myself responsible for them.”

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