Pope Francis Just Declared A Universal Day Of Prayer & Fasting For Lebanon

Pope Francis Just Declared A Universal Day Of Prayer & Fasting For Lebanon”

Faithful listen to Pope Francis, the white figure sitting at center right, during his general audience Wednesday at the San Damaso courtyard, at the Vatican, the first since February when the coronavirus pandemic began.

Before the event, Francis greeted a priest from Lebanon, kissing a Lebanese flag the priest had brought with him to Vatican City.

"Lebanon can not be abandoned to itself", Francis said, asking politicians, religious leaders to commit themselves with "sincerity and transparency" to reconstruct the country and for nations to help "without getting involved in regional tensions".

Pope Francis marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of Poland's Solidarity union during Wednesday's general audience in the Vatican, the first in six months with the participation of the faithful.

"For more than 100 years", Pope Francis said, "Lebanon has been a country of hope. Even in the darkest periods of its history, the Lebanese people have maintained their faith in God and have shown the ability to make their country a place of tolerance, respect and coexistence - unique in the region".

A woman takes pictures of a damaged church on August 5, 2020, after an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut. He went on to state that "Lebanon can not be abandoned in its solitude", as he pleaded the worldwide community to assist in Lebanon in any way possible. "Lebanon can not be abandoned in solitude". Faith and prayer are your strength. "Do not abandon your homes and your heritage".

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He also asked once again that the worldwide community come together to help the country as it emerges from a deep crisis, without getting enveloped in the fraught tensions in the region. Do not abandon the dreams of those who believed in the dawn of a attractive and prosperous country. "So I just ask for closeness".

Drawing from the teachings of his namesake, St. Francis of Asissi, the pope emphasized the importance of interfaith cooperation.

Pope Francis called for a day of prayer and fasting in Italy to commemorate the one-month mark after the deadly blast that destroyed large swaths of Beirut and killed hundreds.

"Lebanon a message of freedom and an example of pluralism, both for the East and for the West".

"I invite everyone to join a universal day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon" on September 4, he said, adding that he would send Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, to Beirut on the occasion "to express my closeness and solidarity".

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