VATICAN CITY—The Vatican recently issued stamps commemorating the 2016 pontifical visits of Pope Francis, including his June 2016 visit to Armenia.
Designed by Daniela Longo, the stamp depicts Pope Francis at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex (Tsitsernakaberd), which he visited on June 25. The pope was accompanied by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, as well as Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and First Lady Rita Sarkisian.
During his visit to Tsitsernakaberd, Pope Francis offered an intercessory prayer and a silent prayer for the dead, and placed a wreath as well as one white and one yellow rose (the colors of the Vatican) by the eternal flames. The pope and Karekin II also held an ecumenical service in memory of the victims of the Genocide, which included The Lord’s Prayer as well as the reading of Biblical passages.
At the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Pope Francis signed the guestbook. His message: “I pray here with sorrow in my heart, that there might never again be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant to the beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peace and consolation. May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must neither be watered down nor forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.”
At the museum-institute, the pope was presented with a gold commemorative medal. He also met with 10 descendants of genocide survivors who found safe haven in the Vatican apostolic palace of Castelgandolfo in the 1920s under the pontificate of Pius XI, reported Vatican Radio.
Stamps commemorating Pope Francis’s visits to Mexico, Poland, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Sweden were also issued.