LOS ANGELES–Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–the Religious and Executive Councils of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America recently announced that on the occasion of the festivities planned for the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity in Armenia–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–will be granting a visit to the Prelacy. The Pontiff’s blessed presence will surely invigorate the 1700th anniversary celebrations.
This Pontifical Visit was scheduled two years ago within the realm of the Catholicosate of Cilicia and our Prelacy’s plans for the 1700th anniversary celebrations.
His Holiness will arrive in Los Angeles on October 18th. Upon arrival–His Holiness will be welcomed by the general public and will deliver His message to the entire faithful. During the following days–His Holiness will preside over a conference dedicated to "Armenian Cilicia" at the UCLA The itinerary also includes the 100th anniversary celebration of the Holy Trinity Church in Fresno; the inauguration of the new Sunday School building; presiding over a Christian interdenominational meeting; and a visit to the San Francisco Armenian community.
Further details of the Pontifical Visit will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile–Catholicos Aram I left for Iran Wednesday. According to press office of the Holy See of Cilicia–during the visit the Catholicos will preside at several public events devoted to the 1700th anniversary of Christianity and he will also give his blessing to parishioners.
Aram I is visiting Iran upon the invitation of Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri–the head of the Islamic Culture and Communications Organization.
During the visit–Aram I will meet with the Iranian leader–the Iranian president–parliament speaker as well as ministers of foreign affairs and culture and Islamic guidance. He will also visit the Iranian cities of Tabriz–Isfahan and Urmia and will participate in a pilgrimage to Saint Thaddeus and Stephen’s Armenian monasteries.
This year’s ceremonies will be different since many Christians are coming to Iran from around the world to attend the anniversary celebrations.
A seminar on ecumenical coexistence from the viewpoint of Muslim and Christian theologian and academicians will be held in Tehran on July 16-17. Topics to be discussed during the seminar are "Dialogue between Islam and Christianity,"Co-existence between Shia Muslims and Armenian Christians" and "Comparison between Islamic and Christian Ideologies."
Some 150,000 Armenian Christians live in Iran.