YEREVAN—Armenia is calling Pope Francis’s upcoming trip here “Visit to the First Christian Nation,” as it unveiled an official logo for the pontifical journey scheduled for June 24, reported the presidential press service on Thursday.
Armenia also unveiled an official logo—a seal—which depicts the Monastery of Khor Virap with Biblical Mount Ararat in the background. During pagan times, Saint Gregory the Illuminator who brought Christianity to Armenia, was imprisoned and banished to a deep well in Artashat for 14 years, where later the Monastery of Khor Virap was built. St. Gregory the Illuminator subsequently became the first Patriarch of the Armenian nation. Through the joint efforts of Saint Gregory and King Tiridates III, Christianity was declared as a state religion in Armenia.
The background colors of the logo are purple and yellow denoting the colors of the official flags of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Roman Catholic Church respectively. The logo also incorporates the Coats of Arms of the two Churches.
The surrounding engraving denotes the visit itself – “Pope Francis Armenia June 24-26, 2016” and the motto “Visit to the First Christian Nation.”
According to an itinerary released by the Vatican last week, the pope will arrive in Armenia on June 24. After an official welcoming ceremony at Zvartnots Airport the Pontiff will leave for the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The same day the pope will meet with President Serzh Sarkisian at the Presidential Palace and hold court with representatives of the Armenian authorities, civil society and diplomatic corps.
The first day of the visit will be concluded with a meeting with His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
On the morning of June 25, Pope Francis will visit the Dzidzernagapert Memorial and the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute, after which he will travel to Gyumri together with the Catholicos to officiate a Holy Mass at Vardanants Square. On the evening of June 25 an ecumenical service and a Prayer for Peace will take place at the Republic Square in Yerevan.
On June 26 the pope will meet with Armenian Catholic Bishops and will participate in a Divine Liturgy and an ecumenical dinner at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin.
Pope Francis and the Catholicos of all Armenians will sign a joint statement and will hold a prayer at Khor Virap Monastery.