By now, the world has seen videos of a mushroom cloud soaring over the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which explosions rocked today, August 4. People fled in terror, homes have been destroyed, and countless lives were ended or ruined. St. George Hospital in Beirut was without power and treating casualties in the darkness.
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, leader of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, issued the following message:
“It is with a sense of shock and awe that I learned of the tragic explosions in Beirut today. I have been in contact with the Archdiocese of Beirut and am thankful that His Eminence Metropolitan Elias of Beirut is safe. At this moment, all of the clergy of his Archdiocese are safe. However, churches in Beirut including St. George Cathedral in downtown and especially St. Nicholas Church in Ashrafiyah suffered severe damage. There was also significant damage to Metropolitan Elias’ Archdiocesan Headquarters as well as St. George Hospital. (Read the full letter.)
“We will send out an immediate appeal to our parishes requesting funds to aid our brothers and sisters in Lebanon. If you want to give directly, please send your donations to the Archdiocesan Headquarters (P.O. Box 5238, Englewood, NJ 07631-5238) and put “Beirut” in the memo of the check. You may also donate online here.
“In the meantime, please keep all of our Lebanese brothers and sisters – and their families on this continent and overseas – in your prayers as they endure yet another tragedy and hardship in their history.”
Clergy and laity can pray the Paraklesis service in church and at home, imploring the Theotokos – Mary, the Mother of God – to rescue the world from affliction and intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.
Photo gallery of damage to St. George Cathedral of Beirut
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