VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, His Holiness Pope Francis affirmed his intention to visit Iraq in order not to disappoint the Iraqis again, indicating that the late Pope John Paul had not been able to complete his visit to Iraq in 2000.
Pope Francis, who is to visit Iraq on Friday, appealed to the faithful to raise their prayers so that the visit would take place in the best possible way and that it would achieve the desired results.
Tomorrow I will go to #Iraq for a three-day pilgrimage. I have long wanted to meet those people who have suffered so much. I ask you to accompany this apostolic journey with your prayers, so it may unfold in the best possible way and bear hoped-for fruits.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 4, 2021
The Pope is to conduct a historic visit to Iraq that will last for the next few days. His first stop will be Baghdad, before moving to Al-Najaf to meet with prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Then, the Pope will head to the ancient city of Ur in Dhi Qar Province, the site of the birth of the Prophet Abraham. Before concluding his visit, the Pope will visit both Nineveh Plains and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
Accordingly, the organizing committee of the Pope’s visit announced that preparations had been completed and that the government had taken many measures regarding this visit.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Syriac Chaldean Catholic Church Louis Raphaël I Sako expressed the widespread public welcome in Iraq to the Pope’s visit, noting that the visit will include holding many Holy Liturgies, as well as visits to historic locations.