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Armenian Patriarch: President of Lebanon is working to ensure peace along the border during the Pope's visit

2012-07-26

Nerses Peter XIX Tarmouni
Armenian Catholic Patriarch
 
"Quite often we do see conflicts along the border with Lebanon and Syria, so the president of Lebanon is working to ensure peace  on both sides of the border.”

Even though the Pope's official itinerary was made public in July, several Catholic communities in Lebanon have been planning the visit for months now.

Among that list is the Armenian Catholic Church. It's led by Patriarch Nerses Peter XIX Tarmouni, who works out of the headquarters in Lebanon.

Nerses Pedro XIX Tarmouni
Armenian Catholic Patriarch
 
"The people of Lebanon, from all faiths, with just a few exceptions, are looking forward to the Pope's visit. Especially because it follows a visit John Paul II made in 1997 because of the Synod.”

The Pope's trip will last roughly 55 hours. Even though it's relatively short, he will meet with key civil and religious representatives from that country. One of those gatherings will take place at the headquarters of the Armenian Patriarchate.

Nerses Pedro XIX Tarmouni
Armenian Catholic Patriarch 
"The Holy Father will bless a memorial dedicated to Armenian monk, Hacob Meghapart, who was involved in the publication of the first Armenian language book back in 1512. It was a book of prayers that was  published 500 years ago in Venice. Armenians would travel with this book, which came to be known as the 'Friday Book'.

The Pope's visit will close with a Sunday Mass celebrated in Beirut's City Center, where roughly 600,000 people are expected. Even people from Syria are expected to attend, despite the country's turmoil.

Nerses Pedro XIX Tarmouni
Armenian Catholic Patriarch

"I hope nothing interferes with the Holy Father's visit. May Jesus, who is the King of all hearts, put peace in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Lebanon.”

It will be a historic visit, where the Pope is not  only expected to deliver the conclusions of the Synod on the Middle East. He's also expected to send a message of peace to all Arab countries.

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