VATICAN—The Vatican has issued stamps commemorating the pontifical visits made by Pope Francis in 2016, among them his visit to Armenia in June of that year.
The stamp marking his visit to Armenia is designed by Daniela Longo and depicts the pope in front of the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Monument where he visited on June 25 of that year, accompanied by President Serzh Sarkisian and His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
Upon arriving in Armenia on June 24, 2016, the pope broke from his officially-prepared remarks and denounced the Armenian Genocide calling it the “First of Deplorable Catastrophes” of the 20th century.
“The occasion was the commemoration of the centenary of the Metz Yeghern, the ‘Great Evil’ that struck your people and caused the death of a vast multitude of persons. Sadly, that tragedy, that genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims that darkened the minds of the tormentors even to the point of planning the annihilation of entire peoples,” said Pope Francis in Armenia.
“I pray here with sorrow in my heart, that there might never again be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant to the beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peace and consolation. May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must neither be watered down nor forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future,” the pope wrote in the book of memories at the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Complex.