A souvenir sheet with two stamps “Apostolic Journeys of the Roman Pontiffs to Armenia. Pilgrimage to the first Christian nation” has been cancelled, the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan and the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of the Holy See Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra participated in the ceremony.
Pope John Paul II visited Armenia back in 2001, on September 25, on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity.
Upon landing in Armenia, Pope John Paul blessed Armenia and the people gathered in the airport, and according to the tradition, kissed the Armenian soil. He greeted the people by saying “God Bless Armenia” in Armenian.
Pope Francis visited Armenia, June 24-26, 2016. In his meeting with the country’s civil authorities and members of the diplomatic corps, the Pontiff recalled the history of the country, marked by the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, which has always gone “hand in hand with its Christian identity, preserved over the centuries.”
“This Christian identity,” the Pope said, “far from hindering the healthy secularism of the state, nourishes it, favoring the shared citizenship of all members of society, religious freedom and respect for minorities.”
“The cohesion of all Armenians, and the increased commitment to identify useful ways to overcome tensions with some neighboring countries,” he said, “will make it easier to achieve these important objectives, ushering in an era of true rebirth for Armenia.”