Rome Newsroom, Mar 7, 2021 / 04:30 am
Here is the full prepared text of Pope Francis' Angelus address, delivered March 7, 2021, in Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), Iraq.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! I am grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to be among you this morning. I have looked forward to this time together. I thank His Beatitude Patriarch Ignace Youssif Younan for his words of welcome, and Mrs. Doha Sabah Abdallah and Fr. Ammar Yako for their testimonies. As I look out at you, I can see the cultural and religious diversity of the people of Qaraqosh, and this shows something of the beauty that this entire region holds out to the future. Your presence here is a reminder that beauty is not monochrome, but shines forth in variety and difference.
At the same time, with great sadness, we look around and see other signs, signs of the destructive power of violence, hatred and war. How much has been torn down! How much needs to be rebuilt! Our gathering here today shows that terrorism and death never have the last word. The last word belongs to God and to his Son, the conqueror of sin and death. Even amid the ravages of terrorism and war, we can see, with the eyes of faith, the triumph of life over death.
You have before you the example of your fathers and mothers in faith, who worshiped and praised God in this place. They persevered with unwavering hope along their earthly journey, trusting in God who never disappoints and who constantly sustains us by his grace. The great spiritual legacy they left behind continues to live in you. Embrace this legacy! It is your strength! Now is the time to rebuild and to start afresh, relying on the grace of God, who guides the destinies of all individuals and peoples. You are not alone! The entire Church is close to you, with prayers and concrete charity. And in this region, so many people opened their doors to you in time of need.