Pope Benedict in Lebanon

by His Excellency, Bishop Gregory J. Mansour
Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn

Over fifteen years ago, Blessed John Paul II visited Lebanon. He met with youth, religious and civic leaders, and everywhere he went the streets were packed. What hope he brought! What joy! What confidence for a brighter future! During this historic visit he offered his much quoted word of encouragement: “Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message for East and West.” Lebanon has never been the same! A few years ago in the spirit of the Blessed Pontiff, Lebanese Muslims and Christians together petitioned the government saying that there are Muslim feast days and Christian feast days, but no Muslim-Christian feast day in Lebanon. It was therefore decided that March 25 every year was to be set aside as the first ever in the whole world, Muslim-Christian feast day, to prove there is still great power and joy in the “message” that is Lebanon!