ArmenianOrthodoxChurch.org – 26/10/18

The jubilee of His Holiness Aram I was celebrated at the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, on Sunday October 21st, 2018.

In the morning, His Holiness celebrated the Holy Mass at the Cathedral. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Nikol Pashinyan, the acting Prime Minister of Armenia and the first lady, the representatives of the President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister of Lebanon, ministers and deputies from Armenia and Lebanon, ambassadors and representatives of political parties.

In His message, Aram I emphasized the vital importance of service as an important dimension of the church’s mission. He said that serving people has became the driving force of his fifty years of ministry. His Holiness referred to the crucial role that Lebanon has played in the life of the Armenian people after the genocide. In greeting warmly the acting Prime Minister of Armenia, he expressed his strong support to the mission of the Prime Minister.

The Holy Mass was followed by a formal celebration at the main hall of the Catholicosate.

After the brief introductory remarks by the chairman of the executive council, out of several messages only the following two messages were read. The message of His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II of all Armenians were read by his legate Archbishop Natan Hovhannesian. In his message His Holiness highlights the significant contribution that His Holiness Aram I has made in the spheres of renewal of the Armenian Church, strengthening the inner unity of the church and promoting the ecumenical values. In his message, which was read by the Apostolic Nuncio, His Holiness Pope Francis stresses the ecumenical collaboration between the Vatican and the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, expressing the hope that will continue with growing pace.

On behalf of the President of Lebanon, deputy Ibrahim Kanaan stressed the important role that Catholicos Aram I has played, as a first Lebanese Armenian Catholicos, in promoting the internal unity and dialogue in Lebanon and becoming the advocate of inter-church and inter-religious dialogue on global level.

The main speaker of the event was the acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. In his keynote speech, he outlined the significant aspects of the life and service of His Holiness, referring particularly to his church ministry, academic achievements, literally work, ecumenical relations and as a leading figure in Diaspora-Armenia collaboration.