By Vatican News
“In these days my thoughts often turn to Lebanon,” Pope Francis said on Sunday, in remarks following the weekly Angelus.
In the wake of the devastating explosion that rocked Beirut last week, the Holy Father said, “Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country.”
A model of living together
The Pope noted Lebanon’s “particular identity”, which “has emerged over the course of time as a model of living together.” Acknowledging the fragility of coexistence in the country at this time, Pope Francis said he is nonetheless praying “that, with God’s help, and everyone’s genuine participation, [Lebanon] may be reborn free and strong.”
Open hearts and open hands
In particular, the Holy Father invited the Church in Lebanon, “to be close to the people on their Calvary, as she has been doing in these days, with solidarity and compassion, with heart and hands open to sharing.” He made an emotional appeal to the "bishops, priests and religious of Lebanon to be close to the people and to live a style of life marked by evangelical poverty, without luxury, because your people are suffering, suffering a lot."
He also renewed his appeals to the international community to contribute “generous aid” to Lebanon in this time of national tragedy.