POPE FRANCIS ARMENIA JUNE 24-26, 2016: VISIT TO THE FIRST CHRISTIAN NATION
POPE FRANCIS: "Venerable and Dear Brother, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians, Mr President, Dear Brothers and Sisters, God’s blessing and peace be with all of you! I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embrace the Christian faith. It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak. Here the khatchkar – the stone crosses – recount a singular history bound up with rugged faith and immense suffering, a history replete with magnificent testimonies to the Gospel, to which you are heir. I have come as a pilgrim from Rome to be with you and to express my heartfelt affection: the affection of your brother and the fraternal embrace of the whole Catholic Church, which esteems you and is close to you..." (from the prayer service for peace in Yerevan's Republic Square).