Pope invites Lebanese Christians to Vatican for peace prayer

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has invited representatives of Lebanon’s Christian community to the Vatican on July 1 for a day of prayer for peace and stability. Francis announced the encounter during his Sunday noon blessing. He asked for prayers ahead of the meeting and for Lebanon itself so that it can enjoy “a more serene future.” Lebanon has been enduring an unparalleled financial, economic and political crisis for months, which has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Francis met in April at the Vatican with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and urged all Lebanese political leaders to “urgently commit themselves to the benefit of the nation.”