Vatican Hands Over Relics to Cilician Catholicosate

ANTELIAS–Lebanon–A relic belonging to St. Gregory the Illuminator was received by the Cilician Catholicosate on Sunday–May 27. Over 150 religious leaders attended the ceremony–held at the St. Nshan Cathedral. Papal representative Cardinal Walter Caspar presented the relic to His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. Similar relics belonging to St. Gregory the Illuminator were given to Etchmiadzin last year by the Vatican–and to the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate early this year. The Divine Liturgy was delivered by His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan–Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul and All Turkey. A representative of the Lebanese president also attended the ceremony. Cardinal Caspar presented the relic to His Holiness Aram I–after which he read Pope John Paul II’s message to the Catholicos. Aram I spoke of the relations between the Armenian Apostolic Church and Rome–in particular–the ties between the Cilician Catholicosate and the Vatican–which have spanned several centuries.

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