From 5 to 8 March, Pope Francis visits Iraq. A historic visit, he is the first pontiff to visit this tortured land, a church that still incarnates all that Tertullian said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”.
A courageous visit, in which the Pope sends a strong signal of dialogue and encouragement.
The dialogue with the Islamic world, especially the Shiites, and with many other components of Iraqi society, which is distinguished by the variety of religions and ethnicities, has as an important step the inter-religious meeting in the Plain of Ur, symbolically in the land from which Abraham departed.
In order to encourage Christians who have remained despite persecution, the meeting with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and catechists is being held precisely in the Syrian Catholic cathedral of “Our Lady of Salvation” in Baghdad, which on 31 October 2010 suffered an Islamic attack during mass, killing two priests and 56 faithful.
Pope Francis always repeats that we are all brothers, in his encyclical FRATELLI TUTTI in the document on “Human Fraternity for world peace and living together “, today, he is dedicating his pontificate to the poorets on earth and he arrives in Iraq: his decision has been welcomed by all the Iraqi people with joy and happiness.
We join the Iraqi Christians who accompany the visit with this prayer
Lord our God, grant Pope Francis health and safety to carry out successfully this eagerly awaited visit. Bless his effort to promote dialogue, enhance fraternal reconciliation, build confidence, consolidate peace values and human dignity, especially for us Iraqis who have been through painful “events” that affected our lives.
Lord and Creator, enlighten our hearts with Your light, to recognize goodness and peace, and to realize them.
Mother Mary, we entrust Pope Francis’ visit to your maternal care so that the Lord may grant us the grace of living in full national communion, and to cooperate fraternally to build a better future for our country and our citizens. Amen.
PROGRAMME OF THE APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF POPE FRANCIS TO IRAQ
VIDEO MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS BEFORE THE APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO IRAQ
- Apostolic Journey to Iraq (5-8 March 2021)