ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–Having concluded his pilgrimage to the Holy Land–Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II returned Tuesday to St. Etchmiadzin Holy See.
At the Yerevan Zvartnots airport His Holiness was met by acting chairman of the State Council for Religious Affairs Levon Mkrtchian–heads of dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church–clergymen from the St. Etchmiadzin Holy See.
Before the Altar of Descension of the St. Etchmiadzin Cathedral–the Supreme Patriarch was welcomed by archbishop Iusik Santourian.
"Our first trip abroad–which was a pilgrimage to the Holy Land–to places where the Savior walked–was successful–inspiring and strengthening. Today with the gratitude in our heart we pray to our Lord to bestow prosperity on our church–welfare to our people–purity and strength to our patriarchies," His Holiness said–sharing his impressions of the pilgrimage.
During his pilgrimage–Karekin II visited Jordan and Jerusalem–all holy places–as well as celebrated a divine liturgy dedicated to the Christ’s nativity according to the Julian calendar–which was also attended by the president of Armenia.
His Holiness also held a number of official and ecumenical meetings. The Armenian communities of Jordan and Jerusalem–as well as Armenian pilgrims from other countries had many opportunities to meet with Karekin II and listen to his patriarchal behest.