VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Chaldean Catholics in Iraq are praying that Pope Francis really will be able to visit their country in March.
Cardinal Louis Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, composed a prayer for all his faithful to recite together at Masses beginning Jan. 17.
Agenzia Nova, an Italian news agency specializing in international political and economic reporting, published a story Jan. 12 saying that a security and intelligence delegation from Italy had arrived in Iraq to tour possible sites for papal events with Iraqi security officials.
While the Vatican announced the dates for the planned trip — March 5-8 — a formal program had not been released as of Jan. 14, and Pope Francis said in an interview Jan. 10 that he was not certain the visit would be possible.
There are obvious security concerns, but also questions about the making such a trip in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, reported Jan. 14 that the Chaldean Catholics were asking “the Almighty Lord to make possible the announced visit of Pope Francis to the land of the two rivers,” the Euphrates and the Tigris.
The text of the prayer begins: “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, our Creator, enlighten our hearts with your light to recognize goodness and peace, and to realize them,” the prayer continued. “Mother Mary, we entrust Pope Francis’ visit to your maternal care so that the Lord may grant us the grace of living in a complete national communion and cooperate fraternally to build a better future for our country and our citizens. Amen.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103