GYUMRI. – It is a great joy for the Pope to communicate with the source of Armenian history, said Reverend Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, during Saturday’s press conference in Gyumri, Armenia. 

In his words, a total of 23 thousand invitations were extended for the Holy Mass which Pope Francis offered at Vardanants Square in Gyumri on the same day, and that the attendance to this event was unprecedented. 

Fr. Lombardi considered unprecedented also the fact that, during the prayer service in Gyumri, the Pope invited the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, to a tour on his popemobile.

Head of the Holy See Press Office added that this joint tour was a significant moment. Fr. Lombardi said he even asked his fellow clergy in Armenia whether they plan to have a “catholicosmobile” for the Catholicos, so he can tour during such important occasions.

In addition, Reverend Father Federico Lombardi said it was a very important moment for him that he was able to see Mount Ararat on Saturday morning in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. He stressed that this also was symbolic at this historic moment, and therefore he expressed a belief that this was a historic day for Gyumri, more than ever.