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Upon the invitation of His Holiness Pope Francis I, a special prayer was offered today in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the participation of the heads of Lebanon’s Christian churches, including His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, who was the keynote speaker.

On this occasion, the office of In Defense of Christians (IDC) had organized a gathering for prayer, also attended by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate. Following a brief introduction, saying that they were joining the prayers in the Vatican, the Prelate offered the following prayer:

“Heavenly Father

Your children of Lebanon, spread all over the world, today come together and, kneeling down in their hearts, humbly beseech Your mercy. The glorious Cedars are mourning the afflictions of the offspring of this blessed land, which has served the Community as a beacon of hope. Look upon those who are suffering from the pandemic but mostly the unjust socio-economic crisis. Waves of agony are flooding the nation day by day, hour by hour, drowning the Lebanese in the abyss of frustration and separating them from your providential love and care.

With the Psalmist, we cry onto You and say: “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I pray, save my life.’ Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.”

Hence, we beseech: O Lord of Hosts, Father of orphans and Protector of widows, incline Your ears and hear our supplication. Cleanse us from all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly. Heal our broken hearts. Restore the hope of salvation and make us worthy to praise you with your Redeemer only Begotten Son and life-giving Spirit. Amen.”