On Friday, the Holy See Press Office announced that Pope Francis had made a personal donation of 250,000 Euros – a little under 300,000 US Dollars – in aid to the Church in Lebanon to help recover after a devastating explosion in the Port of Beirut.

In a statement, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the donation was made “as a sign of His Holiness’s attention and closeness to the affected population and of his fatherly closeness to people in serious difficulty.”

The statement adds that the donation was given to the Apostolic Nunciature of Beirut “to meet the needs of the Lebanese Church in these moments of difficulty and suffering.”

The donation comes after his appeal for Lebanon during his weekly Sunday Angelus address to the Faithful in Saint Peter’s Square.

After praying the Angelus with the Faithful, he took the time to make an impassioned plea for prayer, solidarity, peace, and aid for Lebanon.

Read the Holy Father’s words below:

“These days my thoughts often turn to Lebanon. There I see a Lebanese flag, a group of Lebanese people. Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country. Lebanon has a particular identity, fruit of the encounter of different cultures, that has emerged over the course of time as a model of living together. Certainly, this coexistence is now very fragile, we know this, but I am praying that, with God’s help and everyone’s genuine participation, it may be reborn free and strong. I invite the Church in Lebanon to be close to the people on their Calvary, as she has been doing in these days, with solidarity and compassion, with heart and hands open to sharing. Moreover, I renew the appeal for generous aid on the part of the international community. And please, I ask the bishops, priests and religious of Lebanon to be close to the people and to live a style of life marked by evangelical poverty, without luxury, because your people are suffering, suffering a lot.”

Pope Francis made a similar plea last week in his Wednesday general address. Speaking via livestream, he said:

“Let us pray for the victims, for their families; and let us pray for Lebanon so that, through the dedication of all its social, political and religious elements, it might face this extremely tragic and painful moment and, with the help of the international community, overcome the grave crisis they are experiencing.”

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