In the end, the Pope will travel to Armenia from June 24-26. He will then travel toAzerbaijan and Georgia in early October.
In this upcoming trip, the Pope will try to face the tensions in the Caucasus region, by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and ease the strained relations between this country and Turkey. From the church in Khor Virap, the Pope will simultaneously witness the enclosed border and the splendor of Mount Ararat.
Fr. Krikor Badichaհ, Vice Rector, Pontifical Armenian College, said: “He will go to Khor Virap, which is a very important place for us. Our patron Saint Gregory, who was locked in a well for 13 years. He was miraculously released and baptized by King Tiridates. And so Armenia became the first Christian country.”
Krikor Badichah is an Armenian priest from Lebanon. He says that to understand this journey we must remember that Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as it’s official religion in the fourth century.
Two Christian churches prevail in this country, the Catholic minority and theArmenian Apostolic Church, which is the majority and was born by Christians who did not recognize the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD.
Patriarch Karekin II will host the Pope and accompany him throughout the trip.