By the invitation of the Holy Pontiff Benedict XVI, Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians visited Vatican from 6-9 May 2008.
His Holiness met with the Holy Pontiff and the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Casper. Karekin II also visited the Armenian Levonian school and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
On May the 7th His Holiness Karekin II attended the Pope’s general audience and both leaders exchanged formal greetings. In his greeting The Holy Pontiff mentioned the suffering of the Armenian people: "In an external niche of St. Peter's Basilica, there is a fine statue of St. Gregory the Illuminator, founder of the Armenian Church. It serves to remind us of the severe persecutions suffered by Armenian Christians, especially during the last century. Armenia's many martyrs are a sign of the power of the Holy Spirit working in times of darkness, and a pledge of hope for Christians everywhere.
On the last day of His visit, Karekin II invited the Holy Pontiff to Armenia on His and president Serge Sarkissian’s behalf.