13 September 2012

Pope to go to Lebanon, needs our prayers

Despite the civil unrest in Lebanon - and many Muslim countries at the moment - the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is keeping his plans to visit that country September 14-16.

The decision of His Holiness - like his decision to visit Turkey when the best-selling book in Turkey at the time was a fictional account of his assassination during the visit to Turkey - demonstrates his trust in the Lord and the courage of his faith.

At his Angelus Address on Sunday, the Holy Father addressed those present, saying:
I will make an apostolic visit to Lebanon to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, fruit of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, held in October 2010. I will have the happy opportunity to meet with the Lebanese people and authorities, and the Christians of that beloved country and those from neighboring countries. I am aware of the often dramatic situation experienced by the people of this region, too long torn apart by incessant conflicts. I understand the anguish of many Middle Eastern people immersed in daily sufferings of all kinds, which sadly, and at times mortally, plague their personal and family life. My concerned thoughts go out to those who, in search of a place of peace, leave their family and professional life, and experience the precariousness of being exiles. Even though the search for solutions to the various problems affecting the region seems difficult, we can not resign ourselves to the violence and exasperation of tensions. A commitment to dialogue and reconciliation must be a priority for all parties involved, and must be supported by the international community, increasingly aware of the importance of a stable and lasting peace in the region for the whole world. My apostolic visit to Lebanon, and by extension in the Middle East as a whole, is placed under the sign of peace, referring to the words of Christ: "My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East! May God bless you all!
The greatest sign of peace is the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Cross of our salvation by which we have been reconciled to the Father.  It is no mere coincidence that the Holy Father will embark on this journey on the day celebrates the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Please remember the Holy Father and the success of this Apostolic Journey in your prayers.

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