President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, participated in the Divine Liturgy held at St. Maron Church in Gemmayzeh on the occasion of the feast of St. Maroun, patron saint of the Maronite community.
The Mass service was headed by Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, who was assisted by the Patron of the Beirut Archdiocese of the Maronites, Archbishop Boulos Abdel-Sater, Archbishop Khalil Alwan and a group of priests, in addition to a number of official, political and diplomatic individuals.
Upon President Aoun’s arrival in the church’s outer courtyard, he was received by the President of the Maronite General Council, Eng. Michel Matta, who accompanied the President to the entrance to the church, where he was received by Patriarch Al-Rahi and the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut, Bishop Boulos Abdel-Sater, and Public Prosecutor Ignatius Al-Asmar.
President Aoun and the Patriarch went to the statue of Saint Maron and its relics, and lit two candles and prayed. Then, the President went to his seat, where applause and cheers rose for him, before he saluted Speaker Berri and PM Mikati.
The mass was attended by former Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam, Deputy Prime Minister Saade Al-Shami, former Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani, Ministers of: Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Abdallah Bou Habib, Justice, Judge Henry Khoury, Defense, Brigadier General Maurice Selim, Tourism, Walid Nassar, Economy, Amin Salam, Displaced, Issam Sharaf El-Din, Finance, Youssef Khalil, Energy and Water, Walid Fayyad, Industry, George Bouchikian and Social Affairs, Hector El-Haggar.
Also attending were several current and former representatives, the Papal Ambassador to Lebanon, Monsignor Joseph Spitri, a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors, a crowd of bishops and representatives of heads of Christian denominations also attended, President of the Constitutional Council, Judge Tannous Meshleb, and a number of council members, the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, the Central Inspection Head, Judge Georges Attia, the Director General of the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Antoine Choucair, Director General of State Security, Major General Tony Saliba, Gendarmerie Commander, Brigadier Marwan Salilati, Director of Civil Defense, Brigadier General Raymond Khattar, Director General of Customs, Raymond Khoury, Head of the Lawyers Syndicate, Nader Kaspar, Chief Editors Syndicate, Joseph Al-Qusaifi, Head of Doctors Syndicate, Sharaf Abu Sharaf, and Pharmacists Syndicate Joe Salloum, Beirut Governor, Judge Marwan Abboud, Dean of the Consular Corps, Joseph Habis, President of the Maronite General Council Michel Matta, Dean of the Maronite Council, former Minister Wadih El-Khazen, President of the Maronite League, former MP Neematallah Abi Nasr and Vice President of the Association Ambassador Khalil Karam, head of the Maronite Diaspora Foundation, Engineer Charles Hajj, and political, party and social figures.