- Mar 3, 2021
Pope Francis on Wednesday asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to Iraq, noting that the Iraqi people have been waiting for a papal visit since Pope St. John Paul II was prevented from going in 1999: “A people cannot be disappointed twice.”
The 1,200 Chaldean Catholic families who live in Arizona are thousands of miles from the land of their birth. On March 5, their hearts will turn toward their native Iraq.
In Iraq’s holiest city, a pontiff will meet a revered ayatollah and make history with a message of coexistence in a place plagued by bitter divisions.
A Catholic Relief Services project is helping residents returning to Iraq’s Ninevah Plain rebuild their lives, communities and trust, which were ripped apart by Islamic State militant destruction. It’s an area Pope Francis plans to visit on his historic papal trip to Iraq March 5-8.
Come hell or high water, Pope Francis is determined to visit Iraq March 5-8, unfazed by the threat of terrorism, the political and social instability, and the country’s rising COVID-19 numbers.
When it seemed there was nothing “unprecedented” left for Pope Francis to accomplish, on Friday he will embark in another historic first: A papal visit to Iraq, the birthplace of the biblical figure of Abraham.