ANTELIAS–The Vatican has announced it will hand over a relic of St. Gregory the Illuminator to the Holy See of Cilicia. The information department of the Catholicosate said the relic will be given in May during events organized in Lebanon in commemoration of the 1700 anniversary of the adoption of Christianity by Armenia’s.
An official ceremony will take place at the St. Nshan Mother Cathedral on May 27. Cardinal Caspar–head of the Vatican’s inter-church department–will present the relic to the Catholicosate–along with Pope John Paul II’s message to His Holiness Aram I.
The decision to transfer the relic from the Vatican to the Catholicosate was made months in advance. It should be noted that relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator located in the Italian city of Naples–were handed over to Etchmiadzin in November of last year–and to Antelias last month by Patriarch of Catholic Armenia’s Nerses Bedros XIX. The relic being donated to the Holy See of Cilicia is from the same collection of relics in Naples–where the Illuminator’s cranium still remains. The precious right arm of St. Gregory the Illuminator has been in the care of the Cilcian Catholicosate for centuries.