Pope to Meet with Lebanon’s Christian Leaders

Holy Father Notes Beatifications in Spain

Lebanon's Christian Leaders
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis said Sunday that he will meet with Lebanon’s Christian leaders on July 1, 2021, for a day of prayer and reflection about the troubled country.

The Holy Father’s announcement came after praying the noonday Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

“This coming 1 July I will meet in the Vatican with the principal leaders of the Christian communities present in Lebanon, for a day of reflection on the country’s troubling situation and to pray together for the gift of peace and stability,” Pope Francis said. “I entrust this intention to the intercession of the Mother of God, deeply venerated at the Shrine of Harissa, and from this moment on I ask you to accompany the preparation for this event with supportive prayer, invoking for that beloved country a more peaceful future.”

Pope Francis has reiterated his plan to visit Lebanon once conditions allow. This was communicated in an April 22 statement by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, about that morning’s private audience with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate, Saad Hariri.

Pope Francis also expressed his solidarity with Lebanon in a letter to Michel Aoun, President of the country, which is going through a grave socio-economic and political crisis. According to a publication in Arabic, on the Lebanese Presidency’s social networks, the Successor of Peter’s letter was sent in response to President Aoun’s Easter message.

In the letter, the Holy Father said to the Lebanese President: “evil and death cannot have the last word in the journey of life,” adding that “faith in the Resurrection gives our hearts strength to build a better world.”

In other post-Angelus comments the Holy Father noted the beatification yesterday of three laywomen in Spain:

“Dear brothers and sisters! Yesterday in Astorga, Spain, María Pilar Gullón Yturriaga, Octavia Iglesias Blanco and Olga Pérez-Monteserín Núñez were beatified. These three courageous laywomen, in imitation of the Good Samaritan, were dedicated to taking care of those wounded in war, without abandoning them at the moment of danger; they took risks, and they were killed in hatred of their faith. Let us praise the Lord for their Gospel witness. A round of applause for the new Blesseds.”

Holy Father’s Full Angelus Commentary