YEREVAN (Arka)—The Central Bank of Armenia has issued a commemorative medal dedicated to the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Republic of Armenia.
Adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia in 301 AD is associated with the name of Saint Gregory the Illuminator who is a saint recognized by all traditional Christian Churches. For centuries his venerated relics were spread all over the Christian world.
Strengthening the existing brotherly relations between Christian Churches, in 2000 His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians paid a visit to the Roman Catholic Church and her leader, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who, in his turn, in 2001 participated in celebrations dedicated to the 1700th Anniversary of adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia.
The obverse of the medal has an engraving of The Monastery of Khor Virap against the Mountain Ararat and the date of Pope Francis’ visit.
The reverse of the medal has an engraving of the statue of Saint Gregory the Illuminator in the niche of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican (2005, sculptor – Khachik Ghazanchyan), the Coats of Arms of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
The commemorative medal is in limited quantity and has a historic-cultural value.
In addition to commemorative medals, a souvenir sheet and a mini-sheet with four stamps dedicated to the visit of Pope Francis to Armenia have been put into circulation.
On June 24, “Haypost” closed joint stock company puts into circulation a souvenir sheet with one stamp and four postage stamps designed into a mini sheet in a form of a cross.
The official presentation ceremony of the souvenir sheet and mini-sheet took place at the Presidential Palace in Yerevan in the presence of high-ranking delegations from Armenia and the Vatican.
The souvenir sheet with one stamp depicts Pope Francis against the backgrounds of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, as well as the logo dedicated to the visit of Pope Francis to Armenia and the coat of arms of Pope Francis.
The format of four stamps designed into a form of a cross has been selected by “Haypost Trust Management,” a company that belongs to Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentinian Armenian businessman, and has a symbolic meaning for the visit of Pope Francis to the first Christian Nation. The four stamps depict Pope Francis against the backgrounds of a statue to Saint Gregory the Illuminator donated to the Vatican by Armenia, a monument dedicated to the theme “Armenia – the first Christian Nation” in Yerevan, inner parts of the Main Cathedral of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Saint Peter`s Basilica in the Vatican.
The souvenir sheet has an inscription “Pope Francis. Armenia. 24-26 June, 2016,” as well as “Visit to the first Christian Nation” which is the official motto of this visit.