Key Speeches

Introduction > Welcome note to His Holiness Pope John Paul II at the Beirut International Airport – May 10, 1997

Your Holiness,

We welcome you to Lebanon, the country that has loved you and that you have loved back.
It is a great honor for our country to welcome you on its soil.
We are grateful for your holiness continuing support to our country, you have supported our cause and your holiness has been a source of hope to our citizens.
Seven years ago we started moving from war to national peace, from fear to freedom, and destruction to construction.
We have made great achievements on the basis of our united people’s will to live, and the return of the displaced to their villages is but a testimony of the Lebanese authenticity and unity.
Lebanon, our Dear Holy Father is the nation of values, not the home of theories.
 We are leaving no stone unturned to consolidate a system that protects the freedom of belief and the dignity of every citizen.
Lebanon is country of coexistence, joint decision making and common achievements.
The ordeals are behind us, and the future lying ahead of us can only be through national peace.
Today, you shall not see destruction, but a country resurrecting from war and debris, trying to renew itself.
You will see a country, thousands of year old; however, young in its spirit. An ever resurrecting country that stands in the face of infringements and challenges (…)
Neither fear nor injustice make up Lebanon; neither it is the land of isolation nor a battlefield for movements and groups to struggle.
Lebanon is a fact; we have a past, and a future ahead of us. And the citizens and Diaspora have offered the best of their capabilities everywhere and to every sector of the economy.
Your Holiness,
We are faithful to the martyrs, the youth, the mothers and fathers and children who have lived in tears and sorrow in the past sixteen years and are still enduring the aggressions of the occupation forces in the South and West of Bekaa.
Our loyalty is reflected in our continuous work to build a civil state for all: a state that protects its society from the scourges of intolerance and divergence and fights poverty, ignorance and disease. 
It is also reflected in our continuous support for the implementation of Resolution 425. We are advocates of just and comprehensive peace on the basis of implementing international resolutions and the principle of land for peace.
Your Holiness,
Lebanon does not only reflect this era and the world, it is also their conscience.
As the world re-organizes itself following continuous transformations and successive coups, we re-establish our position in this East as pioneers. Our future lies here, our future starts here.
A lot of questions remain unanswered, and along with others we must reply.
Democracy is the right path towards a establishing a civilized state, stable and prosperous.
Your Holiness,
Two thousand years ago Jesus walked on our land.
Throughout history, Christian and Muslim families in Lebanon have lived in coexistence.
Your visit at the dawn of the third millennium gives us an incentive to renew our spirits on the basis of tolerance, solidarity and love for the sake of man, whom God created in his own image.
Your  Holiness,
We welcome you in Lebanon, the land of peace.

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