Thousands of faithful have gathered in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiatsin to participate in the welcoming ceremony of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis departed for Etchmiatsin immediately from the airport, where he was welcomed by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
The meeting of Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II will take place in the Mother See.
Pope Francis will arrive in the Presidential Palace, where he will have a private meeting with President Serj Sarksian, followed by announcements by the President and the Pope addressed to Armenian officials, foreign diplomats and representatives of the society.
Afterwards the Pope will return to the Mother See Residence, which is his official residence during the visit.
Pope Francis will visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial on June 25. Later on the same day, a mass will be held in Gyumri’s Vardanants Square. A number of other events are scheduled to take place in Gyumri, after which the Pope will return to Yerevan, where the most important and most open event for the society during his visit will take place in the Republic Square.
A peace prayer will be delivered, which will be preceded and followed by a joint festive concert of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Choir – dedicated to Pope Francis’ visit to Armenia.
In the morning of June 26, a mass will be held in Mother See of Holy Etchmiatsin, which will be delivered by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II with Pope Francis.
Several events will be held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiatsin, after which Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II will visit one of the most important shrines of the Armenian people and the Armenian Apostolic Church – Khor Virab- where they will pray together and release doves towards Ararat. Afterwards the Pope will head to the airport to return to Rome.