During the visit to the Vatican, His Holiness Aram I and his delegation attended a special prayer service organized by the St Egidio community at the St. John the Lateran Church in Rome.
In his sermon, the Catholicos spoke of the theological and spiritual meaning of martyrdom (martyria) and linked it to the Armenian Genocide in 1915, when one-and-a-half-million Armenians were massacred by Turkey. He then spoke of the historical importance of St. John the Lateran Church and the St. Egidio community, which began as a movement in 1968 following the Vatican II Council. He then added, “In appreciation of the commitment of its members to justice and peace, during my last visit to the community I offered relics of Armenian martyrs from the Chapel of the Martyrs of Genocide in Antelias.”
At the end of the service, the leadership of St. Egidio held a special reception to honor His Holiness Aram I and his delegation.