Two prominent figures of the Armenian Church, Blessed Ignatius Maloyan and Saint Gregory of Narek, will be remembered this year by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
Blessed Ignatius Maloyan, who was martyred 100 years ago, was Archbishop of Mardine, Turkey. He committed himself to defend, in all the parishes of his territory, devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Mother of God.
In 1915, during the persecutions of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, he exhorted his priests and faithful to pray and to remain true to the faith. Cruelly tortured, he was invited by his executioner to deny his faith to save his life: “I have already told you that I live and die for my true faith. I glorify in the Cross of my Lord and my God.”
Saint Gregory was declared Doctor of the Church this past April by Pope Francis. He lived a good part of his life in the monastery of Narek in Armenia, where he spent his life full of humility and charity, cultivating the literary arts, and theology. He is remembered as one of the greatest poets of Armenian literature. At his death, his tomb became a place of pilgrimage for the Armenian people, who invoked him in prayer from the years of the first persecutions.
The Vatican’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office is responsible for issuing Vatican postal stamps and euro coins.