On Saturday, October 3, 2020, the eve of the solemnity of the Seraphic Father St. Francis, Friars Khalil EL KHOURY and Nicolas ABOU ANNY, both from the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land, professed their solemn vows into the hands of their Custos, Friar Anton BULAI. The event was held at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Zahle, Lebanon.

The vow ceremony took place at 6 p.m., during Mass, which was celebrated in Arabic by the Vicar Custos, Friar Roger KOUYOUMDJI. Friar Roger was accompanied by our brother, the Most Reverend César ESSAYAN, OFM Conv., Vicar Apostolic of Beirut and the friars from our two communities in Lebanon, Zahle and Sin el Fil. Due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a limited number of faithful filled the church, namely, the families and friends of the newly professed.
The feast continued on Sunday, October 4, 2020, again in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, with the Most Reverend Joseph SPITERI, Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon, presiding over the solemn Mass. He was accompanied by our brother, Bishop ESSAYAN, the Custos of the Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land and several friars from both of our communities in the “Country of Cedars.” In his homily, the Apostolic Nuncio talked about St. Francis’ sense of universal fraternity, an idea which Pope Francis has emphasized in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, encouraging everyone to live out that spirit of brotherhood as they face life’s challenges.

Friar Nicolas ABOU ANNY