Lebanon, which faces “extreme danger,” cannot be “abandoned in its solitude,” said Pope Francis today in a long message dedicated to the country at the end of his general audience.
The Pope called on the faithful all over the world “to a universal day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon, next Friday, September 4” in which other religions could also participate. He intends to send Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
“One month after the tragedy that struck the city of Beirut, my thoughts are still with dear Lebanon and its particularly troubled population,” said the Pope holding the flag of Lebanon that a young Maronite priest brought in a general audience with the Pope.
“In the face of the repeated tragedies that each of the inhabitants of this land knows, we become aware of the extreme danger that threatens the very existence of the country. Lebanon cannot be abandoned in its solitude,” he said.
“Lebanon is more than a country. Lebanon is a message of freedom, an example of pluralism for both East and West,” and “for the very good of the country, but also for the world, we cannot allow this heritage to be lost,” added Pope Francis.
Finally, addressing the crowd, the pope said: “Take courage again, brothers, do abandon your homes and your inheritance!”.