The Chancellor of the Patriarchal See, the Reverend Dr. Krikor Damatyan, announced this afternoon that, upon the invitation of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, His Beatitude Patriarch Mesrob II of Istanbul and All Turkey will travel to the Lebanon to attend a series of religious festivities in Beirut and Antelias, on 26 and 27 May 2001, on the occasion of the 1700th Anniversary of the Armenian Church.
The Patriarch, accompanied by a group of thirty clergymen and lay people, will leave for this pilgrimage to the Lebanon on Friday, 25 May. He will participate in the Blessing of the Holy Oil service, to be presided by Catholicos Aram, in the Catholicossal Church on Saturday, 26 May.
On Sunday, 27 May, His Beatitude will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Armenian Cathedral of Surp Nshan in Beirut, which will be followed by an ecumenical service. Catholicos Aram will preside over the service with the participation of the representatives of sister Christian churches.
Patriarch Mesrob will return to his See on Monday, 28 May.
Father Damatyan explained that this visit of His Beatitude is a pilgrimage on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the official recognition of the Armenian Apostolic Church. An official patriarchal visit by His Beatitude Mesrob II to the Catholicossate of the Great House of Cilicia will take place at another date in the near future.