The friars of the Custody wish Merry Christmas to the Armenian Church | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The friars of the Custody wish Merry Christmas to the Armenian Church

After the Orthodox Christmas, which was celebrated on the first week of January, the Armenian Church also celebrated Christmas according to its own calendar. On January 18, the Armenian Christmas Eve took place, and on January 19 the solemnity was celebrated. As is tradition for the representatives of the Christian confessions, there was also an exchange of well wishes for the community that last celebrated the Christmas holiday.

On January 20, the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land went to the Armenian Patriarchate, preceded by the two honorary guards, the Kawas. The delegation of the Custos, the Vicar and the seminarians were welcomed by representative of Armenians. The Custos, Fr. Francesco Patton, recalled the Christmas holiday, which was celebrated a few days before, and whose message is the same for all the Churches. “We hope and pray that the Christmas message may enter ever more deeply into people’s hearts.” Fr. Patton thanked [those present] for having welcomed representatives of the Armenian community on the occasion of the celebrations of the 800-year anniversary of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land, which took place in Jerusalem and at the conferences of Rome and Assisi. “I want to express our feelings of gratitude for the fraternal relationship that allows us to work together at the most important shrines in Christendom,” said the Custos.

The Armenian Patriarch Nurhan Manougian then took the floor and mentioned the important 800-year anniversary of the Franciscans. While giving thanks for the Christmas greetings, he also expressed his feeling of closeness to the friars and for the events of the past: “We also want to remember the Franciscan friars who sacrificed their lives during the Armenian genocide.”
More informal greetings followed the official speeches, and those present shared liqueurs, chocolates and coffee.