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ETCHMIADZIN. -- Thousands of faithful have accompanied the Holy Father Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II to Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin with applauses and exclamations of Viva il Papa (photos).

The heads of the two churches left the open altar under Saint Trdat's arch and under papal canopy, and approached the faithful blessing them.

Pope Francis and Karekin II went to the Patriarchate.

It should be noted that during the Divine Liturgy in Etchmiadzin Catholicos of All Armenians and the Bishop of Rome turned to the thousands of faithful reminded of the need to live in peace and faith.

The Holy Father Francis is in Armenia on a three-day visit. The Pope has already visited the Memorial Complex Tsitsernakaberd dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, approached the eternal flame and laid white roses. The pontiff also made visit to Gyumri which is considered a spiritual center of Armenian Catholics.

The ecumenical ceremony was held and prayer for peace was made with the participation of the Pope and of All Armenians Karekin II at the central square of Yerevan, Republic Square on Saturday evening.

Today the Bishop of Rome plans to head for the Khor Virap monastery, where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 14 years.

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