ROME (ArmRadio)—During a special audience for jubilee pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square in Rome today Pope Francis reflected on his recent journey to Armenia.
“This past weekend I made a pastoral visit to Armenia, the first nation to embrace the Christian faith and a people which have remained faithful even in the midst of great trials,” he said.
“I also plan to go to Georgia and Azerbaijan in the near future, to encourage peace and reconciliation in a spirit of respect for all.”
“With gratitude for the welcome and fellowship showed me by the Armenian Apostolic Church, I ask the Virgin Mary to strengthen Christians everywhere to remain firm in the faith and to work for a society of ever greater justice and peace,” he concluded.
Pope Francis’s visit to Armenia was discussed at the sitting of the Supreme Religious Council held on Thursday at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin under the chairmanship of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
His Holiness Karekin II appreciated the Pontiff’s brotherly visit to Armenia June 24-26.
Members of the Council noted that the Pope’s three-day visit was the best indication of the warm, brotherly relations and cooperation between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church.
The Armenian Church has expressed willingness to contribute to the restoration of the ancient tomb in Jerusalem where Jesus was buried and was discussed at the meeting.
Underlining the importance of Jerusalem in the national life and the responsibility of the Armenian Church in the maintenance of the Holy Site, the Supreme Religious Council committed itself to supporting the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and raise the necessary funds through its Dioceses around the world.