“Iraq will always stay with me”

by time news

Time.news – Pope francesco he left Iraq this morning, thus concluding the historic visit of the first Pontiff to the country. Bergoglio went to Baghdad, Mosul, where he prayed in the rubble of war, and in the chiesa di Qaraqosh devastated by Isis. Pope Francis also celebrated a mass in front of 10,000 people in the Erbil stadium. “Iraq will remain with me forever”, in my heart “, he said at the end of the function. The Pontiff asked everyone to” work together in unity for a future of peace and prosperity that leaves no one behind and does not discriminate. nobody”.

This morning, after celebrating Holy Mass in private, the Holy Father Francis took leave of the staff, benefactors and friends of the Apostolic Nunciature and drove to Baghdad International Airport for the farewell ceremony from Iraq. . Upon his arrival, the Pope was greeted by the President of the Republic, Barham Ahmed Salih Qassim, at the entrance to the Presidential VIP Lounge, where a short private meeting took place. Then, after the greetings of the delegations, the pontiff boarded an Alitalia A330 to return to Italy.

The plane with the Pope on board returning from the Apostolic Journey to Iraq took off from Baghdad International Airport at 9.54 local time (7.54 Rome time). Arrival at Rome Ciampino Airport is scheduled for 12.45.

Immediately after his departure by plane from Baghdad, the Pope sent the following telegraphic message to the President of the Iraqi Republic: “As I leave Iraq at the conclusion of my apostolic journey, I want to express once more my deep gratitude to His Excellency and to the beloved Iraqi people for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to me during my stay. With my fervent wishes and prayers for the peace, unity and prosperity of your nation, I invoke upon all the blessing of the Most High “.

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