Yesterday, Pope Francis held his first Wednesday general audience with the Faithful in attendance in over six months because of the pandemic.

His audience was held at the San Damaso Courtyard on the interior of the Apostolic Palace, with seating for around 500 people.

Speaking to pilgrims, Pope Francis expressed his joy of being able to finally “meet each other again our face to face, rather than screen to screen. Face to face. This is good!”

“The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all linked to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together; together, not alone.”

At the end of his address, he again spoke on the troubles of the country of Lebanon, going through the worst economic and political crisis in its history after the deadly explosion in Beirut.

“One month after the tragedy that struck the city of Beirut, my thoughts turn once again to Lebanon and its people, so sorely tried. Lebanon, a place of tolerance, respect and coexistence unique in that region, cannot be abandoned in its solitude. A message of freedom and an example of pluralism, both for the East and for the West. For the good of the country and the world, we cannot let this legacy be lost.”

Using the opportunity of his first public address in over half a year, Pope Francis urged “everyone to join in a universal day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon on Friday next, 4 September.”

“May the creativity of the Holy Spirit encourage us to generate new forms of familiar hospitality, fruitful fraternity.”

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