September 25, 2001 - 22:28 AMT PanARMENIAN.Net
- Today, head of Roman Catholic Church Pope John Paul II arrived in Yerevan with a three-day visit for participation in the festivities dedicated to 1700 anniversary of Christianity adoption as a state religion by Armenia. "I looked forward to this historic moment and now I am in ancient Armenia", stated John Paul II at the airport "Zvartnots". He expressed his deep appreciation to President Robert Kocharyan and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II for the invitation to visit Armenia. "Addressing to You, Mr. President I want to express my appreciation and friendship not only to your countrymen, who live in their motherland but also to all Armenians that are loyal to their traditions", said the Pope. "I am excited that I am in the country the people of which adopted and approved the high concepts of Christian humanism on the state level", stated the Pope.
Within the framework of his visit John Paul II will visit St. Echmiadzin where he will deliver an open homily, place a wreath on the memorial of the genocide victims, recite with Catholicos Garegin II the liturgy in the new temple Grigor Lusavorich in Yerevan, visit Khor Virap monastery. September 27, the Pope will leave for Rome. During the Pope's visit to Yerevan all the unexampled security measures are undertaken. An hour and a half before the beginning of the liturgy of John Paul II and Garegin II the workers of law-enforcement bodies will block off traffic of the streets to the temple. The inspections of not only the media representatives but also guests that would like to participate in the open homily of the Pope that will take place September 27 in St. Echmiadzin will be made. Over 400 journalists including 58 from Vatican will write about the Pope's visit.