- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 76

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


God whose mercies are diverse and abundant,
mighty and awesome God who loves mankind,
blessed living God beyond description
whose mere word can make anything possible
and for whose mind nothing is unthinkable.1
You alone can repay the severity of thorns
with sweetness of fruit.
You who are the author of that new and
amazing law of life:
to do good to those who hate
and pray for those who persecute
and to seek salvation for those who wound
and ask forgiveness for those who murder.
These are the miraculous fruits you bestow,2
with sweetness beyond compare
made delectable by your divine will
and savory by your praiseworthy lips,
Lord Christ, blessed on high
breath of our nostrils,3
and the strength of our dignity.4

Yet still, human beings, earth-born prone to err
render evil to the hand offering good,5
but you, light and giver of light,
do not heed the blasphemy, take no pleasure
in evil, do not want their destruction and
do not wish these sinners’ death.6
Neither are you vexed or agitated,
nor do you succumb to anger.
Nor do you act rashly.
Nor do you wane in love.
Nor do you waver in compassion.
Nor do you change in goodness.
Neither do you turn your back
or turn your face away.7
Rather you are light on all paths
with the sole aim of salvation.


If you wish to pardon, you are able.
If to heal, you have the power.
To give life, you have the means.
To bestow, you are generous.
To make whole, you are able.
To grant, you are most bountiful.
To justify, you are most resourceful.
To comfort, you are all powerful.
To renew, you are all capable.
To perform a miracle, you are king of all.
To establish anew, you are the creator.
To re-create, you are God.
To care for us, you are Lord of all.
To rid us of sin, you are a guardian.
To aid us, though unworthy, you are blessed.
To rescue from the hunter, you are our savior.
To pour yours upon us, you are rich.
To reach us before we ask, you lack nothing.
To widen the narrow places, you are a comfort.
To call me who am last, you are a protector.
To steady me who wavers, you are a rock.
To give me a drink when parched,
you are a fountain.
To reveal to me what is covered, you are light.
To teach me what is useful, you are kind.
To overlook my faults, you are long-suffering.
To refrain from judging my minor transgressions,
you are exalted.
To lend a hand to a servant like me,
you are good master.
To shelter with your right hand, you are a provider.
To offer a remedy to me who am infirm,
you are a restorer.
To fill me when ignorant, you are a teacher.8
To accept me when I petition, you are a refuge.


Indeed, all these are yours, Lord of mercy,
not just in words, but also in reality,
especially are you foremost among
the martyrs in your patient suffering,
you, who for my salvation
came to the battlefield in force to soften
the stiff-necked unruliness of my haughty body
with the tempering instruction of tormenting tribulation
and taking our nature, bore on your blameless body
the penalty of grievous torment
in order to teach by your example
the mercy you have for us.
Ever blessed.

1. Mt. 19:26.
2. Mt. 5:44.
3. Lam. 4:20.
4. Ps. 28 (Arm. 29):8.
5. Ps. 38 (Arm. 37):21.
6. Wis. 1:13, Ez. 18:32.
7. Jer. 2:27.
8. Lk. 11:1.



Source: St. Gregory of Narek
Provided by: Thomas J. Samuelian

© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.

See also:

Biography of Grigor Narekatsi (in Armenian)
The Christ-Child ( translated by Alice Stone Blackwell )

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