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To the wellspring of faith

· The Pope’s Video message on the eve of his journey to Armenia ·

“I come as a pilgrim”, Francis said, “to draw upon the ancient wisdom of your people and to drink from the wellspring of your faith”. In anticipation of his departure for his Apostolic Journey, the Pope sent a video message to the people of Armenia. The message was sent on Wednesday evening, 22 June.

The Pontiff’s visit to “the first Christian country”, which is taking place from 24 to 26 June, was set to begin with a welcome ceremony at the airport in Yerevan, followed by prayer at the Armenian-Apostolic Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. The occasion will allow the Holy Father to make manifest to the local community his “admiration and sorrow”. Admiration, he explained, because “you have found in Jesus’ Cross and in your own fortitude, the wherewithal to always rise up again — even from among the most terrible suffering in human memory”. Sorrow, he continued, “for the tragedies that your fathers have lived in their flesh”.

One of the most significant gestures of the visit will be an homage to the victims of Metz Yeghérn on Saturday morning, when Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II will pray together at the Tzitzernakaberd memorial. Francis indicated in the message that he looks forward to embracing his “Brother, Karekin” and together “giving fresh impetus to our journey towards full unity”, thereby emphasizing the ecumenical dimension of a journey that will include as its central events a Mass in Gyumri, a prayer for peace in Yerevan and Sunday’s Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.

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St. Peter’s Square

July 17, 2018

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