Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to Saint Mary Major on Wednesday, the feast of the dedication of the Papal Basilica, reported Vatican News.

At the church, the Holy Father knelt for a few moments in prayer in the Borghese Chapel, before the image of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani (“Salvation of the Roman People”).

August 5th is marked throughout the universal Church as the anniversary of the dedication of Saint Mary Major. In the Roman Rite, is observed liturgically as an optional memorial.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Save the Children Fears for Situation of Children in Beirut

A huge explosion in the Lebanese capital has devastated communities within a six-mile radius. The circumstances of the explosion are not yet known, but Save the Children teams on the ground reported entire streets wiped out, with children unaccounted for as rescue teams work through destroyed buildings to get people out of the rubble. Residential and commercial buildings have been shattered in what is being described as the biggest explosion in Lebanon’s recent history.

Hospitals in Beirut are reporting that they are unable to treat further casualties as hundreds of beds immediately filled up following the blast. A further hospital in the capital has been completely decimated. The military has deployed to rescue those caught in the wreckage, with medical personnel treating casualties on the streets.

Save the Children confirms that its offices in Beirut, around three miles from the harbor, were badly damaged in the explosion, which shook the building and destroyed shopfronts in the neighborhood. Our rapid response team stands by prepared to support the government in their efforts in the coming days.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Caritas Launches Emergency Plan to Aid Beirut Explosion Victims

Caritas Internationalis expresses its solidarity and compassion to the Church of Lebanon, to the Lebanese people and to Caritas Lebanon, after the deadly blasts on August 4, that flattened parts of Beirut and killed at least 78 people and injured nearly 4,000.

“It is a terrible and disastrous situation and today we live in total confusion,” told Rita Rhayem, director of Caritas Lebanon, whose staff immediately took action to bring relief to those affected by the explosion. Caritas confederation is also launching an emergency plan coordinated by the general secretariat of Caritas Internationalis to immediately assist victims.

“The situation is critical and this is the first time that we have experienced a situation of such great magnitude, it is apocalyptic, but we don’t stop and we will carry on in order to help all those in difficulty” emphasizes Rita Rhayem. “There are a lot of dead and a lot of injured, and the health situation is likely to worsen quickly, as the toxic gases can cause additional health problems. Caritas Lebanon is preparing for this, but its health centers have no means to face this kind of situation, and rescue operations are made even more difficult by the lack of electricity”.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Beirut: Charity Offers Emergency Food Package

An emergency food package of £226,000 (250,000EUR) is to be rushed out to Beirut by a leading Catholic charity in the wake of the huge explosion on August 4.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) grant will target poor families worst affected by the blast which devastated the port area of the Lebanese capital.

At least 100 people were killed and 4,000 others were injured when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse exploded.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/