Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Chaldean Patriarchate has just released through its official channels a prayer to place Pope Francis' next trip to Iraq (5-8 March) in the hands of the Lord, with the supplication that the Holy Spirit of Christ come to support and enlighten his gestures and words during the trip, also touching the hearts of all those who will meet and listen to him during the apostolic visit. The prayer was released inviting everyone to recite it every day of the week before the start of the trip. "Lord" - reads the brief supplication "we entrust to you Pope Francis' trip to Iraq from 5 March. May your Holy Spirit be in his gestures and words, and in the hearts of those who meet and listen to him, so that the gifts of encouragement, consolation, encounters between different ethnic groups, cultures and religions may spread, with the commitment to take courageous steps of reconciliation and collaboration for the common good". The prayer also asks that "the Church in Iraq be given comfort, light and strength to never tire of weaving new bonds of brotherhood and peace". The prayer ends with an invocation that broadens the gaze to the entire Middle Eastern region: "Lord, free Iraq and the countries of the Middle East from hatred and violence".
Novenas and prayer meetings are being convened all over the world to entrust Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Iraq to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit. "The Christian population in Iraq" wrote Cardinal Blaise Joseph Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, among others, announcing from his twitter account the prayer intentions of the novena promoted in his archdiocese "before the 2003 US invasion was 1.5 million; now it’s under 400,000. Today let us begin a novena of prayer that the March 5-8 pastoral visit of @Pontifex to this martyred nation will be a success and that he and all will be kept safe ". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 26/2/2021)