Narekatsi Gardener, the Miracle of the Apricot Stone and the Benediction of the Stone Cross

XXII

Grigor Narekatsi flew away, went to the monastery of Haghbak and became a gardener. Once the prior visited the garden. Grigor was harvesting apricots and putting them in a flat basket. Then he brought it to the prior. The prior took four apricots and gave them to Saint Grigor. Saint Grigor ate them and taking off the stones from his mouth, threw them out. At night the prior went to bed and saw four lights burning in the garden.  He ordered the youngsters to go and see what it was. They went and saw that there were four apricot stones. They came back and told the prior what they had seen. The prior understood those were the stones that Grigor had thrown out of his mouth. He said: “I shall go and see what kind of a man is he”. But Grigor understood it and he left the village.  
Someone had prepared a cross for his father and brought it to the prior for blessing. That night he heard: “Bring it to Grigor Narekatsi for blessing”. The man put the stone cross on his back and went. He came across Saint Grigor. The Saint said:
– What is this?
The man said:
– This is a cross. 
     The Saint said:
– Where are you taking it?
He said:
– This night I heard a voice which told me: “Bring it to Grigor Narekatsi for blessing”. 
      The Saint said:
      – Do you know him?
The man said:
      – I have neither seen him nor heard of him.
     The Saint said: 
     – Put it down, I will bless it. He does not know.
     The man did not allow, saying. 
      – I have heard a celestial voice, I must find him. 
       The Saint said:
– Put it down.
When the man put down the cross, the Saint kneeled and when he stood up and stretched his arms to Christ, all of a sudden a light appeared in the heaven and came down on the cross. The man left the cross and run to the monastery. Everybody run and they saw that there was an arch of light above the stone cross. They took the cross to the monastery, run every way, but did not see the author of the miracle. Then they understood that it was Grigor Narekatsi. The latter went from there to the hermitage of the Lake of Van and passed away. 

Source: Mat. Ms. 5498, f. 172 r-173 r, Sermons of Grigor Tatevatsi.

Previous