Pope Francis resumed his work early on Wednesday following a colon operation, urging the international community to help a crisis-hit Lebanon.
The 84-year-old took time to bless children and pose for selfies in the Vatican at a weekly general meeting one month after the delicate operation, which saw him hospitalized for over a week.
“Today, I appeal to the international community to help Lebanon along the path to resurrection through concrete gestures, not just words,” Francis said.
On Wednesday, Lebanon marked commemorated the one-year anniversary of the cataclysmic port explosion which ravaged Beirut, killing at least 214 people during its worst socio-economic disaster.
The escalating economic crisis has been patented by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worst since the mid-19th century. Lebanon has also had to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Francis said he hoped that the international conference co-hosted by the UN on the day of the anniversary, to raise humanitarian aid, proves “productive.”
Francis, who had previously been in fairly good health, had been taking it easy since the operation, although he led the Sunday Angelus prayers both from hospital and from the Vatican window on his return.