YEREVAN. – The Armenian Church and the Armenian people were waiting for the visit of Pope Francis with appreciation, said Fr. Vahram Melikyan, the information system director of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, to reporters .
“We are really gratified that the Pope is in Armenia. Tonight in the evening we will attend prayers of two pontiffs,” he said.
The spokesperson forthe Pope, Monsignor Federico Lombardi, today introduced the details of the Pope's trip.
“Today started with a visit to the Genocide Memorial, which was very emotional. The Pope did not make a speech; those were moments for reflection. Francis usually likes to be silent and say his prayer. After the prayer, there took place a symbolic tree planting in the center of the memorial, and the Pope signed the gold record, " said Lombardi. He also added, “the Pope wrote a note in the memorial extempore. He added a few words based on his experience. It is very important for peace-building.”
“The Pope also greeted the descendants of those, the Pope Benedict 15th accepted in Gandolfo Castle, in particular , the Archbishop Minassyan’s brother, whose father was a small child when the Pope Benedict admitted him . The Pope did not have time to visit the Etchmadzin museum. The museum preserves an important document – a letter of the Pope Benedict the 15th to the Turkish Sultan, by means of which the Pope demonstrated his concern about the Armenians genocide. The Armenians are grateful for his intervention,” said Monsignor Lombardi .
He also said that this morning they saw “the marvelous Mount Ararat.”
“At this historic moment the view of the mount Ararat opened before us. In Gyumri I realized that it was a historic day for Gyumri, because the Pope has never been here before, and there was not such an important prayer in the central square. 23 thousand tickets were distributed ; an unprecedented number of people gathered in the square. The Pope served a liturgy in the Catholic order. He stressed the importance of the work of Grigor Narekatsy. And, today the text were not different, as they were yesterday,” concluded Lombardi.