Armenian President honored with the Vatican’s highest award

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has been honored with the Grand Collar of the Papal Order of Pius IX. The Pope bestowed the highest order for his outstanding contribution to the development of relations between Armenia and the Holy See.

Substitute for General Affairs to the Secretary of State Edgar Peña Parra handed over the award to the President during a meeting in Yerevan.

“The Pope has instructed me to present to you the highest award of the Vatican,” said the Deputy Secretary of State of the Holy See. “This is the evidence of the unique relations between our countries. By opening the Apostolic Diocese in Yerevan, we want to establish a very high level of relationship, to show the world the importance of the first Christian nation in history for us.”

It was noted that President Sarkissian is the first in Armenia and the only person in the region to be awarded the highest order of the Holy See, the Grand Collar of the Papal Order of Pius IX.

The President once again commended the continuous development of the interstate relations between Armenia and the Holy See and noted. “I am very happy that the Holy See will have a permanent representation here. This is good news for Armenia and the Apostolic Church.”

Noting that receiving the high award is a great honor, President Sarkissian said. “I take it as an assessment of my modest work, as well as an acknowledgment of the fact that I was the first ambassador of Armenia to the Holy See. I have always worked for the sake of close relations between Armenia and the Vatican. So I accept this, promising to do more. ”

The President of Armenia conveyed his warm wishes to Pope Francis and noted with gratitude that at times of hard and difficult challenges for our country, the Vatican extended a hand of solidarity to our state and people. “We all remember and appreciate the support we received from the Pope and the Vatican during the difficult days for Armenia,” said President Sargsyan.

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