Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Pope Francis Honors Victims of Beirut Blast on One-Year Anniversary” – below is their description.
Pope Francis resumed his routine of holding weekly audiences with the general public a month after he underwent bowel surgery.
During the much-awaited appearance on Wednesday, he recalled the anniversary of the devastating Beirut port explosion and expressed the desire to someday visit Lebanon.
Francis walked unaided to the center of the stage of a Vatican auditorium before taking his seat in an upholstered chair and then addressing an audience of several hundred pilgrims and tourists, who wore masks as a precaution against COVID-19.
Near the end of an almost hour-long audience, Francis spoke of the Beirut explosion, recalling the “victims, their families, the many wounded people and to those who have lost their houses and their jobs” in the blast.
Lebanon’s people, he said, were still tired and disappointed in the aftermath, a reference to the economic and political crises convulsing the Middle Eastern nation on the Mediterranean Sea.
Francis appealed to the international community to offer “concrete acts” of help to the Lebanese people and not “just words.”
“My desire to come and visit you is great,” Francis said.
Francis, 84, was hospitalized on July 4 in Rome for an operation during which a section of his colon was removed.
The Vatican said the surgery was necessitated by diverticular stenosis, or a narrowing of the bowel.
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Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut, which makes it the third-largest city in the Levant region and the fifteenth-largest in the Arab world.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East.
The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Its capital is Beirut.
Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973).
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant.
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