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Pope meets with President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan

2014-09-19

With camera flashes clicking away, Pope Francis welcomed the president of Armenia to the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. 

One by one, President Serzh Sargsyan introduced his staff to the Pope. The Armenian ambassador to the Holy See, cheerful greeted the Pope before asking for a special blessing. 

"We have a friend with a sick child. He's asked that you please bless this for him.”

During their 20 minute meeting, both leaders talked about the special role of Christians in the life and history of the country. In fact Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion. 

They also talked about the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the humanitarian crisis it's triggering along the region. The challenges Christians and other minorities face in the affected areas, were also addressed.

As a gift, the president gave the Pope an Armenian tapestry. Even though it was folded, the president explained that it has a cross is embroided on it. 

In return, the Pope gave him a medallion with the Angel of Peace inscribed on it. Also, a printed copy of an ancient design of St. Peter's Square and two copies of his apostolic exhortation, Evangeli Gaudium. 

Even though it's not official just yet, the Pope is reportedly considering a trip to Armenia in 2015 to mark 100 years since the Armenian Genocide. 

Before leaving, as usual, Pope Francis asked the president to pray for him. 

"Thank you. I ask you to please pray for me.” 

Straight after, the president met with the Vatican's Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. 


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