Pope Benedict XVI, after having asked the faithful to pray for his forthcoming journey to Lebanon, closed Wednesday’s General Audience with these words: “I urge all Christians in the Middle East, whether they are recent arrivals or belong to the region´s ancient communities, to help to build peace and reconciliation. I ask God to strengthen the faith of the Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East, and to fill them with hope for the future”.
Benedict XVI added: “I thank God for their presence, and encourage solidarity throughout the Church, that they may continue to bear witness to Christ in these blessed lands, seeking comunion in unity. I thank God for all of the people and institutions that, in various ways, help Middle Eastern Christians to continue these traditions. The history of the Middle East shows us the important and often fundamental role that the different Christian communities have played in interfaith and intercultural dialogue. We ask God to grant this part of the world the peace that it so desires, respecting its legitimate differences. May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East. May God bless all of you”.
ATS pro Terra Sancta is also present in Lebanon, where it supprts the work of the Franciscans of the Custodians of the Holy Land, as it does in neighbouring Syria, currently ravaged by war and destruction. ATS pro Terra Sancta joins the Pope in praying for the Christians of the Middle East, and of these two countries in particular.