Armenian Orthodox Church
On 8 September, 2012, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, met Christophe Mirmand, Prefect of Alpes-Maritimes in France. His Holiness and Mr. Mirmand went to the Armenian Park where alongside members of the Pontifical Delegation, Diocesan and Parish Council Members, city officials and the faithful, they put a wreath in front of the cross-stone memorial in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. At the memorial, they prayed for peace of the souls of the victims of the Genocide. On the same day His Holiness laid a wreath at the Memorial for the victims of World War II.
In the evening, an official dinner was held in the Negresco Hotel, in honor of the Catholicos of All Armenians. During the dinner, His Holiness awarded Mr. John Chilingirian, an historian, publicist, and philanthropist; with the “St. Gregory the Illuminator” medal in appreciation for his efforts for the benefits of the recognition of Armenian Genocide, and for his church-loving, God-devoted works.
His Holiness gave his remarks which state in part: “Dear Ones, it has been proven for ages that it is impossible to keep ones national identity and consciousness, and faith steadfast if one stays apart from the Holy Church and her sacred values. The Holy Church of Jesus Christ exists through its unity, and the unity of the faithful, for as the apostle confirms “we who are many are one body” (1 Corinthians 10:17). The Armenian Apostolic Church has been preaching and upholding the undeniable truth of unity for our people as a foundation of loyalty for the Armenian Christians and to Our Holy Church. We have addressed our children with this caution to remain loyal. And we have offered the same advice to those who stand apart from the Armenian Church, who with remorse have returned back to the Mother Church, which like a loving parent, cherishes its children, feeds and takes care of them and imparts the living graces of Almighty God. All Armenians are the children’ of our Holy Church, which gives Her blessings to everyone, forgives the sins of the those who confess and promise to keep sacred and respect the sacred religious rules and traditions of our church. These rules and traditions were established by our fathers and were received as tradition by our faithful who live and create with faith, so that we could have a prosperous and vibrant national-church life”.
His Holiness encouraged the faithful who were present during the evening to continue a God-loving and pious path of living, with the same devotion towards our Holy Church and vibrancy to our Homeland, be law-abiding and honorable citizens of France and remain faithful and worthy sons and daughters of the Armenians and Holy Church.
On 9 September, 2012 Pontifical Divine Liturgy was offered at the St. Mary Church in Nice, France. Representatives from Sister Churches, local authorities, Mayor Christophe Mirman, and the faithful were present during the Liturgy. Afterwards, His Holiness met the Parish members and faithful from the cities of Marseille and Nice.