The pilgrimage began in the Lebanon and the President of Lebanon met Vassula and a group of pilgrims in his presidential palace. The meeting was reported the next day in several Lebanese newspapers. Copied below are two of the newspaper articles:
Headline: Lahoud: Lebanon will overcome the critical situation it is enduring and the unity of its people is the fundamental answer to all the diverse attempts aiming to destroy it.
M. Emile Lahoud, president of the Lebanese Republic asserted that the unity of the Lebanese people is the fundamental answer to every attempt that might threaten it in any way.
The president received some members of the international association “True Life in God” in the context of a pilgrimage trip to Lebanon, including bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and lay people, representing 45 countries.
This trip will include Syria and Jordan, as well as visits to representatives of Christian and Moslem confessions.
Vassula Ryden, organizer of the trip, has pointed out in a short speech the aims of the association, comprising mainly the call to Unity, Peace, Forgiveness and Love, among the peoples of the Earth. She also said that “their trip to Lebanon aimed in essence to witness to the mission of this country in the world”, as well as to visit the 3 humanitarian centers supported by this association whose main aim is to take care of the needy and the poor, providing them with food and clothing, and soon with medical care. There are 133 centers, including those in Lebanon, spreading love, peace and reconciliation.
President Lahoud went on to salute the efforts performed by the association of “True Life in God” throughout the world and mainly in Lebanon. He added: “Your presence in Lebanon is an occasion to point out the specificities of this country, where all confessions coexist with a spirit of solidarity, forgiveness and cooperation, so that Lebanon became what the late Pope John Paul II defined as a country entrusted with a mission. And this small country will go on witnessing to the values becoming a prototype the world will be looking up to.
Lahoud then confirmed “that Lebanon will overcome the critical situation it is enduring thanks to the vigilance and the solidarity of its children. He went on to certify that the unity of the Lebanese people is the fundamental answer to all the diverse attempts aiming to destroy it. He then saluted the Lebanese emigrants dispersed all around the world, saying they are a great wealth to Lebanon.