Together with Muslims, Jews, representatives of different Christian churches and other Iraqi religious minorities in the Iraqi city of Ur, Pope Francis prays for reconciliation, peace and strength to rebuild the devastated nation.
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis traveled south from Baghdad to the ancient city of Ur for a historic interfaith meeting on Saturday, the second day of his apostolic visit to Iraq.
The setup was austere, but poignant: a simple, tent-like structure was installed next to Abraham’s house, with white curtains to protect participants from the sun. In the background, the incredibly well-preserved remains of a 4,000-year-old Sumerian temple with an adjacent residential complex and palaces known as the Great Ziggurat of Ur.
After the meeting, the Pope gathered in prayer Muslims, Jews, representatives of the Christian churches of Iraq and members of Iraqi religious minorities, including Yazidis and sages, who together called on the Lord for peace, reconciliation and strength. to rebuild the conflict. devastated nation.
This is his prayer:
Almighty God, our Creator, you love our human family and every work of your hands:
As children of Abraham, Jews, Christians and Muslims, together with other believers and all people of good will, we thank you for giving us Abraham, a distinguished son of this noble and beloved country, to be our common father in faith. .
We thank you for his example as a man of faith, who obeyed you completely, left his family, his tribe and his homeland behind, and left for a land he did not know.
We also thank you for the example of courage, endurance, strength of spirit, generosity and hospitality that our common father in faith has given us.
We thank you in a special way for his heroic faith, demonstrated by his willingness even to sacrifice his son in obedience to your command. We know it was an extreme test, but from which he was victorious, as he trusted you without reservation, merciful and always provide the possibility to start anew.
We thank you that, by blessing our father Abraham, you made him a blessing to all peoples.
We ask you, God of our father Abraham and our God, to grant us a strong faith, a faith that abounds in good works, a faith that opens our hearts to you and to all our brothers and sisters; and an unlimited hope capable of discerning in each situation your fidelity to your promises.
Make each of us a witness to your loving care for all, particularly refugees and displaced people, widows and orphans, the poor and the sick.
Open our hearts to mutual forgiveness and thus make us instruments of reconciliation, builders of a more just and fraternal society.
Welcome to your abode of peace and enlighten all who have died, in particular the victims of violence and war.
Assist the authorities in the effort to search and find the victims of kidnapping and in a special way to protect women and children.
Help us to take care of the earth, our common home, that with your kindness and generosity you have given us all.
Guide our hands in the work of rebuilding this country and grant us the strength to help those who are forced to leave their homes and lands behind, enabling them to return in safety and dignity, and embark on a new, serene and prosperous life. Amen.