Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Peter Al Rahi has celebrated Lebanese Independence Day in Rome, Italy during a ceremony hosted by the Lebanese Ambassador to Italy and with the participation of the Italian Speaker of the Senate, the Army Commander and the secretary of State representing the Italian Government. Also were present Patriarchs and Heads of Catholic Oriental Churches as well as several Arab and foreign countries Ambassadors to Italy.
During his speech, Cardinal Al Rahi congratulated the Lebanese President and people on this day, remembering the Patriotic role of Patriarch Elias Al Hoayek in 1920 prior to the announcement of the State of Greater Lebanon, as well as the important role played by Patriarch Antoine Arida in 1943 in the declaration of the independence of Lebanon and the end of the french Mandate.
The Maronite Patriarch also relayed Pope Francis' salute to all Lebanese people as the holy father was holding the day before an assembly with the Heads of the Catholic Churches about the Middle East and Christians. Cardinal Al Rahi added that Lebanon will be celebrating a dear occasion in 7 years, in 2020 which will commemorate the declaration of the State of greater Lebanon and its independence.
He also called for parliamentary elections with a new electoral law as well as presidential elections on next spring and the formation of a new Government. The Patriarch concluded by recalling the importance of Lebanon in the region and its strong ties with the Vatican and Italy.