Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Oriental Churches, flew to Lebanon on January 10 for a 4-day trip during which he visited the Marj el Kok refugee camp.The main purpose of his visit to Lebanon was the episcopal ordination on Saturday 11 of Franciscan priest Fr. Georges Avou Khazen, the new Vicar Apostolic of Alep of the Latins in Syria. The following day, Sunday, after a Mass in Bekaa valley, the cardinal met Syrian refugees at the Marj el Kok camp managed by AVSI in Marjayoun. He also expressed the Holy See’s closeness with Lebanon’s Christian community suffering much because of the conflict raging in neighboring Syria.
On his way back he stopped at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Mantara or Awaiting at Maghdouche, in Saida, where he invoked “the protection of the Queen of Peace on Lebanon, Syria and the entire Middle East”.
During the celebration, Card. Sandri gave the apostolic blessing in the Pope’s name and stressed that “Setting our compass to God’s path means taking a step towards reconciliation within our families, making a gesture of welcoming to the poor” and concluded “We know well that Lebanon is hosting a huge number of vulnerable people in this period of conflict in neighboring Syria”.
Map of AVSI’s work with Syrian Refugees Photo Gallery from the field The School of Life in Marj El Khokh Camp