St. Gregory of Narek (ca. 945–1003), Armenian mystic poet and theologian, was named Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis on April 12, 2015. Not so well known in the West, the saint holds a distinctive place in the Armenian Church by virtue of his Prayer Book and hymnic odes—among other works. His writings are equally prized as literary masterpieces, with the Prayer Book as the magnum opus. With this meticulous translation of the prayers, St. Gregory of Narek enters another millennium of wonderment, now in a wider circle. The prayers resound from their author’s heart—albeit in a different language, rendered by a renowned translator of early Armenian texts and a theologian.
Abraham Terian is emeritus professor of Armenian theology and patristics at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, Armonk, New York. He is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of Hellenistic, early Christian, and medieval Armenian literatures—fields in which he has published extensively, including The Festal Works of St. Gregory of Narek (Liturgical Press, 2016). Most recently, he was Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellow in Classical Philosophy at the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (2018–2019).