Jbeil (Agenzia Fides) - More than 500 young people from different churches in the Middle East prayed for peace, an end to wars, the integrity of Creation and the request that the Holy Spirit guides and enlightens the upcoming Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church, gathered for common prayer in Jbeil (Byblos) in Lebanon.
As part of the "Together" initiative, the National Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon and the Taizé Community invited people to the ecumenical prayer in Jbeil on the evening of September 16 to ask for the intercession of the Holy Spirit for the upcoming Synod of the Catholic Church. The Lectio Divina sessions, which was the focus of the daytime preparation for the ecumenical vigil and was intended to lay its spiritual foundations, took place in various places in the Lebanese city, including the "Sacred Hearts Sisters School", the Armenian orphanage "Trchnots Pouyn" and the Cathedral of St. John and St. Mark. Among those present at the vigil were Michel Aoun, Bishop of the Maronite Eparchy of Jbeil, Abbot Khalil Alwan, M.L.M., Secretary General of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon, Father Rouphael Zgheib, Dr. Rima Nasrallah, representative of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut, and theologian Gabriel Alfred Hachem, priest of the Greek Melkite Church.
Before the vigil, the young people received a cross that arrived on a boat in the port of Jbeil, from where the solemn ecumenical procession set off to the Ecumenical Oasis in the Park of the Cathedral of St. John and Mark. Throughout the evening, the young people sang and prayed under the theme of the verse from the Gospel of John: "So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:21). The vigil was animated by the choir, made up of people from various communities and regions of Lebanon, led by the famous singer Gabriel Sassi. (E.G.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/9/2023)