- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 58

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Lord Jesus, blessed with the Father,
by favor of your Holy Spirit and
all who are blessed through your blessedness,1
blessed only son of the blessed,
no other king other than you, Christ, rules
over my breath.
As the prophet Isaiah said,
the blessing of Jacob will come when I
lift away his sins.2
Now, have mercy upon me, Lord, with lovingkindness,
as you did in the past
and bless me, your speaking, thinking vessel,
as you did the voice of David and Moses,3
by the visitation of your word of salvation.
May I receive pardon with your blessing.
Merciful heavenly ruler,
work a miracle upon me divinely,
as you did for those gathered in the hall in Bethesda,4
who were bedridden for many years.
Among them was a person,5
a paralytic who had been stricken for thirty-eight years,
whom you did not refuse to heal by laying on of hands,
even when knowing of the incurable malice
that awaited you on the day of your betrayal,6
on the bitter night of the battle against the Lord,
our assurance, great and beneficent.


Lord, though you admonished him,
“Do not sin so that nothing worse befalls you.”7
But that did not deter him from being one of the first
of the cruel accusers to condemn you to the cross.
And for such a crippled, bewitched, ill-fated man,
brought to his knees by death, you took pity.
Lord, you are goodness beyond telling,
wonder-filled human kindness,
astonishing forgiveness, perplexing forbearance,
unending sweetness, glorious mildness.
You, over whom compassion prevails, but
do not feel restrained.
You are overwhelmed by mercy, but are not blamed.
You are constrained by human kindness, but
are not disdained.
You are compelled by goodness, but are not cursed.
You act out of love, but are not ridiculed.
You seek my return to you, but do not grow weary.
You run after me in my obstinacy, but do not give up.
You call out to me though I do not listen, but
do not lose patience.
You rush after me in my sloth and are not stopped.
In the face of my evil, you are good.
In the face of my total indebtedness, you are forgiving.
In the face of my sinfulness, you are indulgent.
In the face of my darkness, you are light.
In the face of my mortality, you are life.


This is the message of all the books inspired for
our benefit,
which often bear heavenly fruits, indescribable
and amazing.8
Say to me also, wretched soul that I am, Lord, blessed and revered in all ways,
“Arise, take the bed of your infirmity, the place of
your destruction, and go to the tranquil repose of
the life without toil.”9
Sever, with the omnipotent sword of your
commanding word,
the wrappings of the grave that hold me in the
bonds of the underworld.10
Release me from the strangling noose that brutally demands my soul.
Deliver those deserving death to the liberation of
unending bliss on high
by your life-giving and divine word.
Do not hesitate, do not delay day by day,
so the heavy burden of sin does not break my back,
and destroy me, bend me downward, looking to hell,11
so that the haughty one with tyrannical violence
disarms my spiritual defenses and turns me into
a slave of death.
Come to my aid, good Lord who suffered
with us the pangs of death’s torment.12
Having lifted from me the cross of perdition,
as you did once from the shoulder of the guard,13
to erect the fitting monument to your courageous might,
with steadfast faith and unshakable hope to be nailed to you inseparably.
To you with the Father and the Holy Spirit, glory and dominion, forever.

1. Gen. 22:18.
2. Is. 27:9.
3. Ps. 67 (Arm 66):2, Num. 6:24.
4. Jn. 5:3.
5. Jn. 5:15.
6. Jn. 5:3.
7. Jn. 5:14.
8. 2 Tim. 3:16.
9. Lk. 5:18-24, Jn. 5:8.
10. Jn. 11:43-44.
11. Lk. 13:10-17.
12. Heb. 4:15.
13. Mt. 27:32.



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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