Several groups of Russian pilgrims will visit Armenia to pray with Pope Francis and thousands of Catholics at a Holy Mess in Gyumri’s Vartanats Square on June 25, Fr. Petros Yesayan, leader of the Armenian Catholic community of Russia told RIA Novosti.
Groups from Moscow, Bryansk, Krasnodar, Sochi, Adler and other cities are expected to visit Armenia. According to Fr. Yesaya, there are three Catholic priests serving in Russia today.
The visit of Pope Francis to the Republic of Armenia will start on 24 June. The official welcoming ceremony will be held upon his arrival at the Zvartnots International Airport, following which the Pope will travel to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, where a welcoming service will be offered in the Mother Cathedral.
In the evening, Pope Francis will meet with President Serzh Sargsyan, of the Republic of Armenia; then with the authorities and community leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. The first day will conclude with a meeting at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
On the morning of 25 June, His Holiness Pope Francis will visit Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and Museum in Yerevan. Pope Francis, along with His Holiness Karekin II, will visit the city of Gyumri, where a Divine Liturgy will be offered in Vardanants Square. The Pope will also visit Our Lady of Armenia Convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Gyumri; then the Seven Wounds St. Mary Church of the Diocese of Shirak of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church and the Holy Martyrs Armenian Catholic Cathedral. In the evening, an outdoor Ecumenical Service and Peace Prayer will be held in Yerevan – in Republic Square.
On 26 June, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Pope Francis will meet with Armenian Catholic bishops, and then participate in a Divine Liturgy and an Ecumenical dinner, along with the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, Armenian Catholic Archbishops and Bishops and the Papal delegation. Pope Francis will also meet delegates and benefactors of the Armenian Church. His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Karekin II will sign a joint declaration.
The Spiritual leaders will offer their prayers at the Khor Virap Monastery, following which Pope Francis will depart for Rome.