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    » 03/21/2005, 00.00

    LEBANON

    Palm Sunday, when hope lies with the young



    Despite storms Lebanon won't die, says Maronite Bishop of Beirut.

    Beirut (AsiaNews) – Lebanese Catholics on Palm Sunday prayed for peace entrusting the future of the country in the hands of the young.

    Celebrations took place in an atmosphere highly charged by recent terrorist attacks, the most recent of which was a car bomb that wounded 11 people in predominantly Christian neighbourhood of New Jdeideh (East Beirut).

    Mgr Paul Matar, Maronite Archbishop of Beirut, led the services at St George's Maronite Cathedral, in downtown Beirut. The mass was preceded by a procession that made its way through the streets of nearby areas.

    This year's celebrations were particularly significant because the cathedral is right across from the Mouhamad el-Amin mosque where former Prime Minister Rafik Harir, who was killed on February 14, is buried.

    The attack sparked an unprecedented wave of popular protests against Syrian occupation of Lebanon, backed by the student movement.

    In his homily, Archbishop Matar illustrated the meaning of the celebration urging the faithful to examine their conscience and act respectfully towards one another. He expressed words of hope for the country's future, which won't die despite the storms it has gone through. He ended the service urging the young to be the builders of the new Lebanon.

    In his homily, Abbot François Eid, Superior General of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, spoke in hopeful terms as well. He stressed the need for a true peace, one born of love.

    Key to this is Jerusalem which, in his words, should be a city of peace and not of "rebellion".

    Abbot Eid also stressed how important it is for everyone to work together for the rebirth of Lebanon, a task which especially falls on the young, builders of peace and masters of their own destiny.

    Similar trust in the young was expressed by Youssef Kallas, Greek Melkite Metropolitan of Beirut, whose homily acknowledged the efforts young people displayed in seeking reconciliation and opposing violence.

    Card Nassrallah Sfeir, the Maronite Patriarch, was not in Lebanon. He celebrated mass in New York.

    The Patriarch is currently un the US where he met US President George W. Bush last week. He is expected to fly home on March 22. (YH)

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    See also

    02/04/2007 LEBANON
    Crisis shadows Palm Sunday celebrations
    Catholic and Orthodox mark the festivity by calling political groups to greater responsibility. Patriarch Sfeir criticizes all those who block reconciliation, the Maronite bishop of Beirut asks the International community to protect the Christian presence in the Middle East

    20/03/2005 VATICAN
    Pope silently blesses young people from his study window


    20/03/2005 VATICAN
    New energies for the Church and the Pope from the Cross of Jesus, says Cardinal Ruini
    For the first time in 26 years, John Paul II does not take part in Palm Sunday celebrations with the young people of World Youth Day. But Cardinal Ruini presents him as a witness of the strength of the faith in suffering.

    01/04/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: As Holy Week begins we ask ourselves, who is Jesus of Nazareth
    Benedict XVI celebrates the rite of Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week and coincides with the 27th World Youth Day. Receive from Christ " a look of blessing: a wise and loving look, capable of grasping the world’s beauty and having compassion on its fragility ", because God does not feel "disgust" for any of the things he has created. To the young: Palm Sunday is "the day of decision, the decision to welcome the Lord and follow him to the very end", as did St. Clare, for whom we mark the 800th anniversary of her conversion and consecration. "Praise", "thanks" and "prayer" to "be in profound communion of love with Christ who suffered, died and rose again for us."

    04/04/2004 Vatican
    Pope: "Young people, do not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel of the Cross!"




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