Pope Francis on September 16, 2018, praised the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation for their tradition of theological humanism and prophetic ecumenical openness and urged them to continue to provide a precious witness, according to Vatican News.
The Holy Father’s remarks came in a letter read at the conclusion of celebrations marking 300 years from the foundation of the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation in its Monastery in Venice.
The Congregation of Benedictine monks is widely recognized for its contribution to the renaissance of Armenian philology, literature, and culture early in the 19th century and for the publication of old Armenian Christian manuscripts, a tradition that Pope Francis described as a “beneficial gift for the ecumenical journey, which increasingly reveals itself as a sign of the times” in our effort to meet the Lord’s request to his disciples “to be one”.
In a letter addressed to Archbishop Boghos Levon Zekiyan, apostolic administrator of the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation, the Pope said the congregation “is called to preserve and deepen its charism for the good of all Armenian people.”
Francis’ message was read in the presence of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches during celebrations of the Divine Liturgy on the Island of San Lazzaro in Venice.