A Piece of Beirut from Miqati to the Pope
Prime Minister Najib Miqati gave Pope Francis on Thursday a tile from a 19th-century Beirut church that was seriously damaged in the August 2020 port explosion that killed 216 people and injured more than 6,000.
Miqati met privately with Francis who told him that he was praying that God would help Lebanon "get up" and get back on its feet.
At the end of the audience, Francis invited Miqati and the Lebanese delegation to observe a minute of silence and prayer, the Vatican said.
Lebanon's two-year economic meltdown, in which tens of thousands have lost their jobs and the pound has lost more than 90% of its value, is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement. The international community has said it will only help the small nation once it implements wide reforms and tackles widespread corruption.
Francis referred to a Biblical passage in which Jesus takes the hand of a young girl on her deathbed and says "Get up!"
"May God take Lebanon by the hand and tell it: 'Get up!'" the Vatican quoted Francis as saying.