Nearly a thousand years after his death, his influence is still felt every day in the Armenian Church. The soaring hymns that praise God, the sensitive prayers that beg His forgiveness, the policies of mercy and outreach that guide the operations of the church—all bear the mark of St. Nersess Shnorhali. His title Shnorhali means “full of grace”—and the divine gifts that flowed from Nersess Pahlavuni left behind a legacy of devotional poetry and music unparalleled in Christian history. But his later years, when he ascended to the throne of Catholicos, were a time of solitude and struggle, as his hopes for a more unified church were opposed from without and from within.

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