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On Sunday, March 14, following Divine Liturgy, the community of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia attended the presentation of the Armenian and English editions of “Intimacy with Narek,” written by their Pastor, Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian.

In his words of praise, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, said that this work by Fr. Nerses was the best expression of “perseverance,” the theme of the day. It was, the Prelate said, the fulfillment of a dream Fr. Nerses had nurtured for the last thirty years, which he now shared with the public.

The book intends to render the text of the famous poem of Gregory of Narek (Grigor Narekatsi), “Book of Lamentations” (commonly known as Narek after its author), one of the masterpieces of Armenian literature and religious thought, more accessible to readers, with the goal of bringing the people closer to “the Narek” and, by way of the Armenian saint, to God. His Eminence praised Fr. Nerses for this endeavor in addition to his service as Pastor and expressed his wish that he may continue to keep alive the spirit he has inherited from the Seminary of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.

Fr. Nerses thanked the Prelate for his unreserved support for the publication of both editions. He briefly described how his profound love for Narekatsi and his poem had developed and how, for so long, he had wished to compile in a volume the notes he had been making for years as he read the mystic, wanting to make him approachable to the faithful as well as to “Pastors, like a beautiful collection of themes and a hymnbook, to use for their Sunday newsletters.”

St. Gregory’s Pastor then read the second part of the 82nd chapter of Narek as a word of blessing from the saint. Following the presentation, members of the public bought copies of the book displayed in the community center.

The book, both in its English and Armenian editions, is available from the Armenian Prelacy bookstore. Call 212-689-7810 or email books@armenianprelacy.org to have your copy.