As he usually does before each international trip, the Pope sent a video message to the locals.
Pope Francis told Armenians that he is going as a pilgrim and as a brother. He acknowledges the tragedy that their ancestors have lived and says he feels both pain and admiration.
"For you have found in Jesus’ Cross and in your own wits, the wherewithal ever to pick yourselves up and start anew – even after sufferings that are among the most terrible in human memory."
The Pope gave them encouragement to continue working for reconciliation and not give up. He remembered the example of Noah, who did not give up in his efforts to find land after the flood. An example that is not accidental because tradition says that the Ark stopped at Mount Ararat, the symbol of Armenia.