Tuesday, 24 November, 2020

One month after the tragic blast that struck the city of Beirut

Pope Francis Gustavo Kralj

Vatican (September 3, 2020 Gaudium Press) At the end of today’s General Audience, the first with the faithful since the pandemic’s confinement, the Pope called for a day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon, one month after the explosion in Beirut on August 4. It will take place next Friday, September 4th.

“One month after the tragedy that struck the city of Beirut, my thoughts turn once again to Lebanon and its people, so sorely tried,” said the Pope.

“Even in the darkest periods of its history, the Lebanese people maintained their faith in God and proved capable of making their land a place of tolerance, respect, and coexistence unique in that region. How true it is that Lebanon is more than a State: it is ‘a message of freedom and an example of pluralism, both for the East and for the West’ ( John Paul II – Apostolic Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the situation in Lebanon, 7 September 1989). For the good of the country and the world, we cannot let this legacy be lost.” Pope Francis insisted.

Setting partisan interests aside and seeking the common good

The Pontiff asked politicians and religious leaders, “to commit themselves with sincerity and openness to the work of rebuilding, setting aside all partisan interests and looking to the common good and the future of the nation.” And he once again called on the international community “to support Lebanon and to help it emerge from this grave crisis, without becoming caught up in regional tensions.”

Pope Francis invited the population of Beirut to take heart based on faith and prayer; he called on the Church to give an example of life, to help the faithful and the people to flourish once again.

He concluded with an invitation to join in a universal day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon on next Friday, Sept. 4: “I intend to send my own representative to Lebanon that day to be present with its people: The Secretary of State will go in my name to express my spiritual closeness and solidarity. Let us pray for Lebanon as a whole and for Beirut. And let us demonstrate our closeness by concrete works of charity, as on other similar occasions.”

With information from Vatican News and Vatican.va

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