Vatican City, (VIS) - At midday yesterday, before having lunch with patriarchs and bishops of Lebanon, and the members of the Special Council for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, in the headquarters of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate at Bzommar, the Pope expressed his thanks for the invitation to His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, and to the superior of the Institute of the Patriarchal Clergy.
"Divine Providence has allowed our meeting to take place here in this convent of Bzommar, which is so emblematic for the Armenian Catholic Church. Its founder, the monk Hagop, more commonly known as Meghabarde - the sinner - is an example for us of prayer, of detachment from material things and of faithfulness to Christ the Redeemer. Five hundred years ago, he promoted the printing of the Friday Book, thus establishing a bridge between Christians of East and West. From his example, we can learn the meaning of mission, the courage of truth and the value of fraternity in unity. As we prepare to replenish our strength with this meal which has been lovingly prepared and generously offered, the monk Hagop also reminds us that the spiritual thirst and the quest for higher things must remain always alive in our hearts, for “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'".
"Dear friends", the Pope added, "through the intercession of the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus, and of St. Gregory the Illuminator, let us ask the Lord to bless the Armenian community, so sorely tried down through the ages, and to send to its harvest numerous saintly workers who, because of Christ, are enabled to change the face of our societies, to heal hearts that are broken and to offer courage, strength and hope to those who despair. Thank you!"