Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros el-Rahi, presided Monday over the traditional annual Mass service devoted to France in the "Church of Our Lady" in the Patriarchal Edifice of Bkirki, in the presence of Deputy House Speaker Elie Ferzli, French Ambassador Bruno Foucher, senior French Embassy staff, former Ministers Ziad Baroud and Ibrahim Daher, and various other prominent figures and a crowd of believers.
In his religious sermon on the occasion, Rahi said, "Together we pray for the goodness of France and for peace and reconciliation in our turbulent region...We pray for the dead, and for healing the 500 wounded, extending our heartfelt condolences to their families and loved ones. We express our solidarity with the dear Sri Lankan people and with the religious and civil authorities, as well as with the Sri Lankans who work in Lebanon."
"The fire that destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is devastating and horrible that only silence and prayer can help us in this ordeal," Rahi went on. "At the same time, the national and international solidarity with this Christian symbol in France, and this historically and culturally inherited gem, gives us a firm promise of his resurrection from this cathedral, from his ashes," he asserted.
"On Easter Day, it has become the duty of every Christian believer in Jesus Christ, in Lebanon and the Middle East, to be active in peace, tolerance and reconciliation," Rahi corroborated.
The Patriarch concluded his sermon by saying, "In the name of the French-Lebanese friendship, I thank the French people for their closeness and dedication in any trying experience."
Source: National News Agency