The opening ceremony of Doctor of the Church, Gospel, Saint Gregory of Narek took place in Vatican. The opening was done by the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See Mikayel Minasyan. In the Gardens of Vatican City, after the opening ceremony of the statue, the ecumenical ceremony took place by the participation of His Holiness Pope Francis, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I.
At the end of the ceremony, Pope Francis bowed in front of the statue.
Vatican is in the center of the attention of the whole Christian world and the blessing of Narekatsi’s statue in the Gardens of Vatican by the Pope of Rome is an important event. It is important not only from the point of view of the relations between Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches, which, by the way, became even stronger after the visit of Pope Francis to the first Christian country. The statue is also important in sense of introducing the world St. Gregory of Narek and the Armenian cultural heritage.
To remind, on April 12, 2015, during the liturgy on the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, Pope Francis declared Gregory of Narek the Doctor of the Church. During the visit of Pope Francis to Armenia, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan presented the head of Catholic Church the miniature of Gregory of Narek as a symbol of Pope’s pilgrimage to the first Christian country, expressing his hope that its larger version will stand in Vatican. The Pope of Rome agreed.
The author of the statue is David Yerevants. The bronze statue was made in one of the foundries of the Czech Republic by the sponsorship of the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See, Mikyel Minasyan and Arthur Janibekyan. Two samples of the statue were molded on for the Gradens of Vatican, another for Echmiadzin.