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Pope recalls suffering of Armenian Christians, prays for unity

June 05, 2014

Pope Francis met at the Vatican with Catholicos Aram I, a leading figure in the Armenian Apostolic Church, and recalled the suffering of Armenian Christians.

Aram I’s See of Cilicia is located in Lebanon. The June 5 meeting comes one month after Pope Francis met with Catholicos Karekin II, the spiritual head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is among the Oriental Orthodox churches that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451). The sees governed by Karekin II and Aram I are administratively independent.

“Your Holiness represents a part of the Christian world that is irrevocably marked by a history of trials and sufferings courageously accepted for the love of God,” Pope Francis said in his address to Aram I.

“The Armenian Apostolic Church has had to become a pilgrim people; it has experienced in a singular way what it means to journey towards the Kingdom of God,” Pope Francis continued. “The history of emigration, persecutions and the martyrdom experienced by so many of the faithful has inflicted deep wounds on the hearts of all Armenians. We must see and venerate these as wounds inflicted on the very body of Christ, and for this very reason a cause for unfailing hope and trust in the provident mercy of the Father.”

Pope Francis concluded by praying that the Holy Spirit “inspire our journey towards unity. May he teach us to strengthen the fraternal bonds which even now unite us in the one baptism and in the one faith. Upon all of us I invoke the protection of Mary, the All-Holy Mother of God, who was present in the Upper Room with the Apostles, that she may be for us the Mother of Unity.”


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