Order of St Lazarus helps bind up Beirut’s wounds

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By John Pontifex MEMBERS of an ancient Chivalric Order with close ties to the Middle East have raised more than £10,000 for the people of Beirut suffering following the catastrophic explosion.

The Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem responded to an urgent appeal for help from Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which is providing emergency support for nearly 6,000 families worst affected by the blast on 4th August.

An initial grant of £5,000 was made by the St Lazarus Charitable Trust of the Grand Priory of England and Wales, and further donations were made by members of the Order.

The Order’s commander of Wales, Chevalier Dr David Woolf, said the donations reflected members’ concern to help the people of Beirut, which is the Lebanon base of the group’s spiritual protector, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Joseph Absi.

Dr Woolf said: “We immediately saw the need to act and to act quickly in support of those suffering in Beirut.”

ACN is providing emergency help – food, shelter and pastoral support – amid reports that 300,000 families were displaced by the explosion, the brunt of which was particularly felt in Beirut’s Christian districts.

Thanking members for their speedy and generous response to his calls to support the ACN appeal, Dr Woolf said: “We were motivated by the need to show Christian compassion in response to a terrible situation.

“The people of Beirut went from one moment, where everything was completely normal, to the next, where there was complete catastrophe – all of it projected onto our screens around the world.”

Last October, the Order in Wales held a fund-raising dinner hosted by the Cardiff Oratory in Formation, collecting £5,000 for ACN’s work for Christians fleeing persecution in Syria, the second such event in support of the Catholic charity.  

Editor’s Notes





Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation directly under the Holy See. As a Catholic charity, ACN supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in need through information, prayer, and action.

 Founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope St John Paul II named “An outstanding Apostle of Charity”, the organisation is now at work in 140 countries throughout the world.

Undertaking thousands of projects every year, the charity provides emergency support for people experiencing persecution, transport for clergy and lay Church workers, Child’s Bibles, media and evangelisation projects, churches, Mass stipends and other support for priests and nuns and training for seminarians.

 Aid to the Church in Need UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1097984) and Scotland (SC040748). ACN’s UK office is in Sutton, Surrey and there is a Scottish office in Motherwell, near Glasgow and another office based in Lancaster that covers the North-West.

 Please always acknowledge Aid to the Church in Need as the source when using our material.

 For more information, contact Senior Press Officer Dr John Newton on 020 8661 5167.

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