Karekin II, Aram I to Attend Armenian Genocide Liturgy in Rome

Pope Francis delivers his 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and to the world) blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Day. (Photo: AP Alessandra Tarantino)


VATICAN CITY—On April 12, all Armenian communities will ideally be present in St. Peter’s Basilica, in Rome, where Pope Francis will celebrate a mass for faithful of the Armenian rite to commemorate the Genocide, the Vatican Insider reports.

The liturgy will be presided over by Pope Francis on Divine Mercy Sunday, with the participation of Armenian Catholic patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX along with Armenian Catholic bishops.

Armenian sources told Vatican Insider that unless there are any last minute changes, the two highest representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church will also be present: Patriarch Karekin II and Catholicos Aram I who heads the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, today based in Antelias, Lebanon.

In the context of the church, the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the “Great Evil” will culminate in the liturgy for the canonization of victims of the Armenian Genocide scheduled for 23 April in Yerevan at the Patriarchal see of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin, headed by Patriarch Karekin II. 38 Churches, ecclesial communities and ecumenical bodies have confirmed that a delegation will be present at the canonization rite. That same day, at 19:15 (7:15 p.m.) – which is symbolic of the year 1915 – all Armenian churches around the world – except those on Turkish territory – will ring their bells 100 times to commemorate the centenary of the Genocide.

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