ASIA/IRAQ - Nineveh Plain, Christians in Alqosh in procession for the feast of the Holy Cross

Monday, 14 September 2015

Alqosh (Agenzia Fides) - In the Nineveh Plain, still largely subject to the control of the self-proclaimed jihadist Islamic Caliphate, about a thousand Christians moved in procession among fields and barren hills to reach a Marian monastery out of town and celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Cross on Sunday evening, 13 September. This took place in Alqosh, a city of the Nineveh Plain which has never fallen into the hands of the Islamic Caliphate.
The multitude of pilgrims wanted to repeat the gesture of devotion that they carry out every year, reaching, amid songs and prayers, the Chaldean Shrine of Our Lady of Alquosh. At nightfall, while the pilgrimage was being held, the city seemed dotted with many lit crosses on the roofs and facades of houses. Even the large cross on the side of the mountain was lit all night, visible from far.
In the city of Alquosh - reports Iraq website - hundreds of Christian families, who have fled from the other villages in the Nineveh Plain fallen under the rule of the Islamic Caliphate, have found refuge. "With this procession, and with clearly visible external signs that accompanied it" says to Agenzia Fides Iraqi Syrian Catholic priest Nizar Seeman, "the Christians of al Qosh also sent a moving signal, that challenges us all. They wanted to say, we are still here, even if no one protects us, because we have faith that we are protected the Lord Jesus, with Mary his Mother". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 14/09/2015)