Kirakos Gandzaketsi About The Death Of The Great Mkhitar Gosh

“This blessed one, who we spoke about above, has reached very old age, perfecting himself and observing faith. And when he saw that the bodily forces were leaving him and he was soon to depart to his forefathers, he called his disciples and the inhabitants of the monastery of Nor Getik (who had suffered with him and labored for the monastery and the church) and blessed them with the name of God.

And, choosing one “of them, by the name of Martiros who had studied with him and was close to him, he made him the spiritual leader over them. A child by age, but perfect in knowledge who would sweetly sing liturgical songs, read a lot, write quickly – he ordered him to rule over them.

He wrote a will to the great Hazarapet Ivane, brother of Zakare, and entrusted him with the monastery and abbot. Himself, aged and burdened by years, he transferred from this world toward Christ.

The curator of the monastery Martiros together with his brotherhood did a great job preparing the spiritual and everyday matters necessary for the funeral. They carried and laid him at rest in front of the door of a small church located to the west, above the monastery.

And to this day, his grave helps the sick who faithfully rely on his prayers, and the land from this place is endlessly carried away for the needs of sick people and livestock, for “God glorifies those who glorify him both in life and after death.”

One day, his acolytes were on horseback, loaded with wine for the needs of the monastery. One Georgian named Basila came up and wished to forcibly take away part of that wine because he served for Ivane – he was a keeper over the forests and guarded the courtyard, where Ivane would often stay.

The acolytes of [the monastery] told him: “Do not oppress us, we are people of Gosh”. Gosh was his nickname (because his hair was very scarce). But the vile man, cursing, insulted them and Gosh.

But when he reached the place where he mentioned with mockery his (Gosh’s) name, he immediately became numb. He was deprived of his tongue, and his lips became curled. And so he lived long days until he eventually managed to receive forgiveness. And everyone who saw this man praised the servant of God.

And he [Gosh] left in his own memory, as a tombstone, a wise book for those who love science – the beautifully composed “Interpretations of the Prophecies of Jeremiah” containing several rules regarding the presentation of the body and blood of the Lord (how to do it conveniently and in what order).

He also left the book “Cries about our nature” [written] on behalf of Adam to his sons and on behalf of Eve to her daughters. At the request of the great military commander Zakare and his brother, he wrote the book “The proclamation of the Orthodox faith against all schismatics” and other instructive works.

His death took place in 662 (1213).”

Excerpt from the book of Kirakos Gandzaketsi “History of Armenia”




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