Young Lebanese see Papal visit as a sign of hopeAugust 21, 2012 No Comments
August 21, 2012 / MariaNews.com
BEIRUT – Lebanon’s younger generation of Catholics sees Pope Benedict XVI’s Sept. 14-16 visit to their country as a sign of hope in a region embroiled with violence.
Marielle Boutros, a 25-year-old Maronite Catholic from Jbeil who teaches science at a Catholic school, said the pope’s visit “means that even though we are suffering and don’t have stability, there is someone in this world who cares for us and wants us to stay here.”
“That’s why he’s coming here, to tell us to stay here and not to quit our cause,” she said.
Firas Wehbe, a 34-year-old Maronite Catholic who heads up the sales unit of a bank, said the pope’s visit “is a sign of hope for the youth, a support for them to stay in their country and the Middle East, especially with the turbulent situation around us.”
Wehbe said when Pope John Paul II visited Lebanon in 1997 and the country was under Syrian occupation, it was “a bad situation.”
“But now, it’s all the region,” Wehbe said. “So I think that this visit is a sign from God, a message for us to resist in a Christian way: through our beliefs, to stay here in the holy lands and to live our lives according to the Bible. Otherwise, we can go everywhere in the world. But here, we have a message to live all together with other religions, especially Muslims.”
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