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Lebanon patriarchs visited Benedict XVI during their trip to Rome

2014-01-05

When the patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches came to Rome, they brought along a special gift for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI: a small token of his historic trip to the Middle East.

NERSES BEDROS XIX TARMOUNI
Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia
"All of us, patriarchs from Lebanon, went and offered him this book, which was made after his visit to Lebanon in September 2012. It includes his speeches, the speeches of the other patriarchs, and photos. All of this, we complied it in an album, and we wanted to give it to him as a memory of his trip to Lebanon.”

The Saturday after their meetings ended, Benedict XVI welcomed: Card. Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch; Gregorios III Latham, Melkite Greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch; Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch; and Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia.

They met at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, Benedict's home inside the Vatican. The last time the Pope emeritus had last seen all four together was during his trip to Lebanon. 

NERSES BEDROS XIX TARMOUNI
Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia
"I found him to be very lucid. His memory is still perfect. But you can see that he he has aged. He's a bit more tired. But 100 percent lucid, with an excellent memory.”

The Armenian Patriarch said Benedict XVI was very happy to receive the book. He thanked them  for the gift, and they had the chance to talk briefly.

In addition to the patriarch in Lebanon, Benedict XVI also greeted the other leaders of the Eastern Catholic Church, in full communion with Rome.


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