On June 28, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, departed from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for a Pontifical visit to Marseille, France for the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Holy Translators Church of Marseille.
The Pontiff of All Armenians was accompanied by Professor David Muradyan, an esteemed artist in the Republic of Armenia; Rev. Fr. Anania Tsaturian, Staff Bearer to His Holiness; and Rev. Fr. Khoren Kirakosian and Rev. Fr. Adam Makarian, members of the Secretariat of the Catholicosate of All Armenians.
The ceremony at the Holy Translators’ Church was attended by faithful Armenians, the archbishop of Marseilles, the archbishop of the Gpti Orthodox Church of Marseilles and representatives of religious denominations. In his speech, His Holiness expressed his appreciation of the Armenians of Marseilles of keeping Armenian community and church life active, making contributions to France’s advancement and reinforcing the homeland. The Supreme Patriarch also touched upon the fact that it was through the combined efforts of the Armenians living in France that the country official condemned the Armenian Genocide, undertook the initiative of adopting a law criminalizing the denial of Armenian Genocide and supports the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. After the ceremony, His Holiness had a meeting with faithful and representatives of religious communities at the church hall.
On June 29, the European Assembly of the Armenian Church launched its activities under the direction of His Holiness. The assembly was held with the participation of leaders of European dioceses of the Armenian Church, clergymen of the communities and representatives of the youth movement of the Armenian Church. The assembly began with a welcoming speech by Primate of the Armenian Diocese of France and a message conveyed by the Supreme Patriarch, followed by speeches on “The role of the Armenian Church in the Diaspora”, “Armenian Apostolic Church: Modernity and Tradition” and “Youth movement of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Europe”. At the end, His Holiness answered the questions concerning the gathered.
On the same day, His Holiness had a meeting with Senator of Bush du Ron state, Jean Noel Gerini, Chairman of the regional council of Provance-Al-Cot d’Azur, Michel Vozel, after which His Holiness visited the Hamazkayin school in Marseilles where he had a meeting with the school’s students and teachers. In the evening, His Holiness participated in a concert organized by the Armenian community at the Abbaye Sen Victor Church in Marseilles with performances by the Gegham Baghdasaryan and Sasun Folk Instruments Ensembles, as well as the Sahak-Mesrop Choir of Marseilles. RA Ambassador to France Vigen Chitechyan also participated in all the events.