(from Catholic Near East July – August 1994)
Ecumenical Event in Armenia
Posted: 01 Jul 1994
With the bells of the cathedral of Etchmiadzin tolling a joyous greeting. Vasken I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, welcomed back to Armenia the relics of SS. Bartholomew and Thaddeus.
The relics were a gift from Pope John Paul II to the catholicos and were presented by a small Vatican delegation led by Achille Cardinal Silvestrini in April.
This symbolic gesture, said Msgr. Stern, a member of the delegation, elicited statements of mutual recognition of the apostolic origins of both churches.
According to tradition, SS. Bartholomew and Thaddeus brought the Gospel to the Armenians in the first century.