On the occasion of Christmas, Pope Francis delivered his annual traditional Christmas Day message Urbi et Orbi ("to the city and to the world") on Wednesday, using it to call for the end of a range of political crises coming across Lebanon that he described as "a country of coexistence in harmony."
In the traditional Urbi et Orbi, Christmas message has become an occasion for popes to address suffering in the world and press for solutions. Pope Francis addressed tens of thousands of worshipers and tourists from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, emphasizing that global change begins in individual human hearts.
He expressed his hope and prayers for the Lebanese people amid the protests and unrest Lebanon has been facing, asking the Lebanese people "to rediscover their vocation to be a message of freedom and harmonious coexistence for all."
In his message, he also called on the international community to ensure peace and security in the Middle East, especially Syria and the Syrian people "who still see no end to the hostilities that have torn their country over the last decade."
This is not the first time Pope Francis speaks to the Lebanese during this revolution. On October 27th, Pope Francis addressed the Lebanese nation with a special message: "I send a special thought to the dear Lebanese people, in particular to young people, who in recent days have made their cry heard in the face of challenges and the social, moral, and economic problems of the country."
Pope Francis sent out his message following a Sunday Angelus prayer. He then called out for protestors to find a reasonable solution with the government using the path of dialogue, so the conflict eases up sooner than expected for the sake of the Lebanese people.
Last week, as the Lebanese city of Tyre illuminated its Christmas, Pope Francis conveyed to all the Lebanese a message of peace and his prayers for all Lebanese sects.