The San Gregorio Armeno Monastery in Naples

The San Gregorio Armeno Monastery in NaplesThe history of this monastery goes back to the 8th century. At this time, the Byzantine emperors of the Isaurian dynasty were preoccupied with the increasing number of monasteries that absorbed human, land, and financial resources and also brought a rather ambiguous veneration of icons.

Since 726, the era of iconoclasm began, which had several peaks, during which iconodule was persecuted and monasteries were eliminated.

At this very time, the staff of quite a lot of Greek monasteries was removed from their locations and moved to Italy, where the pope refused to adhere to the new church policy.

One team of these collective refugees were the workers of a Greek monastery that brought with them its shrine, the relics of Gregory (Gregory of Nazianzus), an enlightener in Armenia.

Part of the relics of St. Gregory was transferred to Catholicos Garegin II during his visit to Italy in November 2000. On November 11, 2000, the relics were taken to the cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Yerevan, where they remain to this day.

Via San Gregorio Armeno is one of the streets of the historic center of Naples, which is world-famous for its shops, in which artisans sell figurines for the Nativity Scene “Presepe”.

The street was laid in ancient times and has a relation to the era of ancient Rome. In those distant times, it connected two roads named Decumano Medio (now Viya dei Tribunali) and Decumano Inferiore (now Via San Biagio dei Librai).

Most likely, the tradition of drawing up scenes of the Nativity of Jesus originated a long time ago. On this street in antiquity, a temple dedicated to the goddess Ceres stood, whom townspeople brought as a vow small clay figurines, products of local craftsmen.

Neapolitan presepe itself appeared much later, at the end of the 18th century.

Via San Gregorio Armeno is full of handicraft shops where year round, sellers trade figures for presepe, among which you can find the most traditional and unique works (some of the modern craftsmen portray stars and politicians as shepherds and biblical characters).

Presepe exhibitions are arranged here on the eve of Christmas and last, as a rule, from the beginning of November to January 6.


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