Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - On Sunday April 24 the Latin church in the center of Mosul, historically officiated by the Dominican Fathers and known as the "Church of the Miraculous Virgin" or dubbed as the "Clock Church", was devastated by the use of explosives. Official sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate attribute the sacrilegious act of vandalism to the militants of the self-styled Islamic State (Daesh) that have been controlling the city since 9 June 2014. According to local sources, the jihadists of Daesh evacuated the area around the church and took away whatever could be looted from the sacred building before detonating the explosives.
The statement released by the Chaldean Patriarchate expresses sorrow for yet another act of destruction committed against a place of worship, and also urges Iraqi politicians to act quickly to encourage authentic national reconciliation.
The Latin Church connoted unmistakably the historic center of Mosul, mainly due to its distinctive bell tower with the clock, donated to Iraqi Christians by Empress Eugenie, Napoleon III’s wife. It is possible that the church was devastated simply because considered historically linked to France.
"The chimes of that clock" says Sister Luigina Sako, superior of the Roman house of the Chaldean Sisters of the Daughters of Mary to Agenzia Fides, "accompanied our youth, when Mosul was a city where you lived in peace. I remember as a student, when we had an important exam, we all went, Christians and Muslims, to bring our requests for help to the Lourdes grotto situated within that church, that even our Muslim friends knew and honored as 'the miraculous Virgin church' ". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/04/2016)