Greeting of Holy Father at End of Erbil Mass

Thanks to Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda and Entire Community

Greeting Erbil Mass
© Vatican Media

The Holy Father pronounced the greeting below at the end of Mass in Franso Hariri Stadium in Erbil, the last major public event in his March 5-8 apostolic journey to Iraq.


At the conclusion of this celebration, I thank Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, and with him the entire community, as well as Bishop Nizar Semaan and my other brother Bishops, who worked so hard for this Journey. I am grateful to all of you who prepared and accompanied my visit with prayer and welcomed me so warmly. In a special way, I extend a heartfelt greeting to the beloved Kurdish people. I am particularly grateful to the government and the civil authorities for their indispensable contribution, and I thank all those who in various ways cooperated in the organization of the Journey, including the many volunteers. My thanks to all of you!

In my time among you, I have heard voices of sorrow and loss, but also voices of hope and consolation. This was due in large part to that tireless charitable outreach made possible by the religious institutions of every confession, your local Churches, and the various charitable organizations assisting the people of this country in the work of rebuilding and social rebirth. In a particular way, I thank the members of ROACO and the agencies they represent.

Now the time draws near for my return to Rome. Yet Iraq will always remain with me, in my heart. I ask all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to work together in unity for a future of peace and prosperity that leaves no one behind and discriminates against no one. I assure you of my prayers for this beloved country. In a particular way, I pray that the members of the various religious communities, together with all men and women of good will, may work together to forge bonds of fraternity and solidarity in the service of the common good. Sukrán [Thank you]! May God bless you all! May God bless Iraq! Allah ma’akum! [God be with you!]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

Full text of Pope’s homily at mass