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Friday, September 30, 2016

A visit with Assyrian-Chaldeans in Georgia

This afternoon, His Holiness, Pope Francis travelled by car to the church of Saint Simon Bar Sabbas in Tbilisi for a meeting with members of the Assyrian-Chaldean community.  This was the first time that a Pope visited that place of prayer for Assyrian-Chaldeans.

Upon his arrival, at 6:15pm, he was welcomed by the Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans, His Beatitude, Louis RaphaĆ«l Sako and by the pastor, Father Benny Beth Yadegar at the church entrance.  Then, the Holy Father proceeded in procession toward the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, passing through the faithful of the Assyrian-Chaldean diaspora.

Following the singing of a song and the recitation of a prayer in Aramaic, the Pope recited a prayer for peace, the text of which is printed below:

Prayer for Peace
recited by His Holiness, Pope Francis

Lord Jesus,
we adore your cross
which frees us from sin, the origin of every division and evil;
we proclaim your resurrection,
which ransoms man from the slavery of failure and death;
we await your coming in glory,
which will bring to fulfilment your kingdom of justice, joy and peace. 
Lord Jesus,
by your glorious passion,
conquer the hardness of our hearts, imprisoned by hatred and selfishness;
by the power of your resurrection,
save the victims of injustice and maltreatment from their suffering;
by the fidelity of your coming,
confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life shine forth. 
Lord Jesus,
unite to your cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims:
the children, the elderly, and the persecuted Christians;
envelop in paschal light those who are deeply wounded:
abused persons, deprived of freedom and dignity;
let those who live in uncertainty experience the enduring constancy of your kingdom:
the exiles, refugees, and those who have lost the joy of living. 
Lord Jesus,
cast forth the shadow of your cross over peoples at war;
may they learn the way of reconciliation, dialogue and forgiveness;
let the peoples so wearied by bombing experience the joy of your resurrection:
raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation;
reunite your dispersed children under your gentle kingship:
sustain Christians in the Diaspora and grant them the unity of faith and love. 
O Virgin Mary, Queen of peace,
you who stood at the foot of the cross,
obtain from your Son pardon for our sins;
you who never doubted the victory of his resurrection,
sustain our faith and our hope;
you who are enthroned as Queen in glory,
teach us the royal road of service and the glory of love.

At the conclusion of the prayer service, the Pope greeted each member of the Synod of the Chaldean Church before leaving the Church and releasing a dove.  Then, the Holy Father travelled by car to the Apostolic Nunciature.
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