Pope Benedict XVI will visit Lebanon in a month, from 14 to 16 September 2012. Patriarch Fouad Twal expresses his joy and assurance of his prayers for the success of his mission. Here we publish his entire letter.

Jerusalem, July 23, 2012

Most Holy Father,

The Holy Land welcomes you to Lebanon!

We have learned with joy the news of Your visit to Lebanon, where You again will meet Your faithful to give them the Apostolic Exhortation, the fruit of the Synod of Bishops of the Churches of the Middle East.

On behalf of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and the Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Region (CELRA), in anticipation we express our joy, and we support You with our prayers before, during and after Your visit, so that it bears much fruit in and is a blessing for the people of this land.

The Holy Land had the privilege of welcoming the Pope Paul VI in 1964, Blessed John Paul II in 2000, and it keeps alive the memory of Your visit in 2009, as well as the trip to Cyprus in 2010.

Now, Holiness, You return to the Middle East to give us the Apostolic Exhortation, thanks to which we will appreciate Your advice and Your teaching, in order to be, here and throughout the world, a sign of communion and witness.

Our region is currently living in difficult conditions and we feel the need to hear Your voice, teaching, prayer and sharing with all who suffer.

This land, from the Synod until now, has experienced radical events that have plans and opened new prospects for freedom and dignity, but are also accompanied by increased violence.

We hope Your visit to Lebanon and the words that you will address to the Middle East and the international community will strengthen the hope of Christians, and the process of Islamic-Christian dialogue and the values of justice and peace.

The Pastors and faithful of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem ask Your Apostolic Blessing and are united in prayer for the success of Your visit.

In the anticipation and the joy of seeing You soon,

+ Fouad Twal
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem,
President of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS)
President of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Region (CELRA)