Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Thursday morning, Catholicos Aram I and his entourage, accompanied by the local leadership of the Armenian community, visited Apostolos Tsitsikostas, the Governor of the Macedonia region. After greeting the guests, the governor spoke of the social and political accomplishments of the region. In his response, the Catholicos complimented the Greek people for their contribution to Human civilization and to Europe.
At noon His Holiness Aram I and his delegation visited Anatolia College where they were greeted by its President Panos Vlachos. President Vlachos told His Holiness that in 1915 the college received Armenian orphans of the Genocide and that the sense of commitment that resulted from that experience survives to today. President Vlachos then led the guests to the library and showed them photos of the orphans and an ancient Armenian manuscript.
Catholicos Aram I thanked the President for keeping the memory of the orphans alive and thereby sharing the historical legacy of the college. He then said that Armenians were grateful to all those, including the leadership of the college in 1915 and the American, Swiss and Danish missionaries, who took care of the children orphaned by the Genocide. He then informed President Vlachos that the Catholicosate was erecting a museum dedicated to the orphans of the Genocide at the Bird’s Nest institution in Byblos (Lebanon).
On the same afternoon His Holiness, his entourage and representatives of the Armenian community in the region, left for Trakia (ancient Thrace region) and met with Yorgos Orphanos, who represents the region in the Greek Parliament. Mr. Orphanos spoke with great appreciation of the contribution of the Armenian community to their region.
In the evening, His Holiness Aram I attended a dinner offered by the Armenian community, in the presence of Metropolitan Anthimos and a group of Greek politicians. After the official welcome by the leadership of the Armenian community, His Holiness Aram I thanked everyone, specially the Metropolitan and the politicians for their positive attitude towards the Armenian community in Greece. He then assured them that the two peoples would remain friends and work together on common issues of justice.
The next day, Friday 26 September, His Holiness Aram I and the delegation left for Kavala and Xanthi to meet the Armenian communities.