Prot. 50/21/094 MO Message Iraq
Rome, 3 March 2021
Msgr. Youssif Thomas Mirkis, Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimanya
Msgr. Michael Najeeb, Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul and Akra
Sr. Clara Nas, Superior General of the Sisters of St. Catherine
Sr. Bernadette Youssef, Vice-Provincial of the Middle East of the Sisters of the Presentation
Br. Rami Simon, Superior of the House of Epiphany in Baghdad
Br. Najeeb Sarmad, Superior of Saint Dominic’s House in Erbil
Members of the Dominicans Fraternities in Iraq
Dear brothers and sisters in Iraq,
A few hours before the visit of our beloved Pope Francis to Iraq, we would like to reaffirm to you our commitment to pray for all the inhabitants of your country. In this Jubilee Year of the dies natalis of Our Father Saint Dominic, we entrust more particularly to the intercession of the founder of the Order of Preachers you who are assuming important responsibilities in Iraq, in your capacities as Archbishops and Superiors of our Dominican communities, and you, brothers, sisters and lay people of the Dominican Family in Iraq who through your witness are striving to be builders of peace for those whom you meet.
Together with the brothers in Santa Sabina, we pray that this visit will be an opportunity for fraternal encounters that can contribute to laying new foundations for reconciliation and lasting peace in your country, so scarred by violence. We pray with Pope Francis asking the Lord “to prepare our hearts to encounter our brothers and sisters, so that we may overcome our differences rooted in political thinking, language, culture and religion. Let us ask Him to anoint our whole being with the balm of his mercy, which heals the injuries caused by mistakes, misunderstandings and disputes. And let us ask him for the grace to send us forth, in humility and meekness, along the demanding but enriching path of seeking peace” (Fratelli Tutti, 254).
The prophet Isaiah was already rejoicing: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ” (Is 52:7-8). May the Lord accompany our Pope, messenger of peace, good tidings and salvation during his visit. May this witness of ecclesial communion bring you lasting hope and joy! May the Lord bless you abundantly, with all his mercy and wisdom, for accompanying the people of Iraq on the path of Justice and Peace.
Fraternally and in communion with you, especially during these days.
Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P.
Master of the Order of Preachers
Br. Alain Arnould, O.P.
Socius of the Master of the Order
cc: Br. Nicolas Tixier, O.P., Provincial of the Province of France