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الرئيسية > أنباء البطريركية > His Holiness Pays a Visit to Our People in Duhok
His Holiness Pays a Visit to Our People in Duhok
On Saturday 14 June 2014, the first stop of His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II during his visit to Iraq was to Duhok. His Holiness was accompanied by many bishops and priests. Upon his arrival to the Church of the Martyr Mar Ithalaha, His Holiness was received by His Excellency Raban Al-Kass, Chaldean Archbishop of Duhok and Amadiya, Very Rev. Fr. Fayez Al-Shamani, parish priest of St. Mary Syrian Orthodox church in Duhok, Rev. Fr. Jameel Nisan, parish priest of the church of the Martyr Mar Ithalaha, Cor-episcopos Philip Daoud of the Assyrian Church of the East and Rev. Fr. Aphrem Youhannes, parish priest of the church of Bakhetmy and Sorka of the Assyrian Church of the East. His Holiness was received by the parishioners and deacons in a large procession.

After offering prayers in the church of Mar Ithalaha, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation. He greeted the insistence of His Holiness to be with his spiritual children who were forced to migrate from Mosul in very difficult and extreme conditions. Very Rev. Fr. Fayez Al-Shamani, priest of the parish of Duhok, also gave a speech in the occasion.

His Holiness then spoke in Syriac and Arabic. In his speech, he thanked the Lord for giving him the opportunity to be with his flock gathered in the blessed church. He added: “I first visited the Church of the Lady of the Girdle Um El-Zunar in Homs and Sadad, but now the Divine Providence willed that I visit our dear archdiocese of Mosul, Iraq, the land of our forefathers, and the District of Kurdistan. In my visit, I carry to you the love and prayers of our brothers in the whole world. I hurt when I see you displaced and out of your homes. You hence have joined our Syriac people who were persecuted, but preserved the faith and remained in his church and country”. His Holiness pointed out that the church will commemorate in a few months the centennial remembrance of the Genocide (Sayfo) which resulted in over half a million victims. It is as though the Sayfo continues…

His Holiness then listened to the individual stories of the displaced families from Mosul. At the end, His Excellency Bishop Raban Al-Kass delivered a speech and told His Holiness that he is welcomed among brothers and that everyone is happy for his presence among them. Bishop Al-Kass added: “We are on the right track towards Christian unity. Now, you are in the beloved Kurdistan where we thank President Masud Barazani for his care for the Christians in the District”. His Holiness concluded the meeting by giving his apostolic benediction to all wishing them a safe return to their homes in Mosul.

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