Experiences

The profaned chalice that travels through Spain

Maria José Atienza-October 8, 2020-Reading time: 2 minutes

A The chalice, shot and desecrated by Daesh jihadists during the occupation of Qaraqosh, is visiting various places in Spain at the initiative of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.

Priests were able to celebrate with this chalice, and active and contemplative nuns, families and young people prayed before it. A "pilgrimage" promoted by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which recalls the reality, more current than ever, of the persecutions that Christians suffer in many parts of the world. 

The chalice 

The chalice was rescued from the rubble of the temple where it was kept, Salar, a Syrian Catholic Christian from Qaraqosh, located in northern Iraq, in the Nineveh Plain region.

A sacred vessel that shows the aftermath of the bombing of the church and a firefight specifically targeting liturgical objects.

Qaraqosh is the largest Christian-majority town in Iraq and possibly the region, with 50,000 inhabitants, almost all of them Christians: Chaldean Catholics, Syriac Catholics, and Syriac Orthodox. The ACN Spain's ecclesiastical assistant, Jesús Rodríguez TorrenteThe calyx, he emphasizes that the chalice, "With this destruction it is like the Heart of Jesus who sheds his blood day after day for each one of us, thus making it a symbol of surrender and of God's Love. It is no longer an object of pain and hatred, but quite the opposite.". 

"This chalice that represents so many persecuted priests shows us a look of hope and trust in God, which teaches us how to live the faith in our countries."emphasizes Rodríguez Torrente. 

The chalice, which has already visited places such as Cordoba, Guadix and Malaga, is scheduled to arrive in the cities of Santander and Bilbao in the coming weeks. 

Persecuted and exiled

The Christian majority in this area of Iraq was the first target of Daesh terrorists when they invaded Mosul and the Christian-majority towns of the Nineveh Plain in the summer of 2014. 120,000 Christians, children, adults, elderly, entire families had to flee in a matter of hours. Most of them made their way to Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Until they were able to return to what was left of their homes, they lived thanks to the charity of the Church. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has helped them with 34.5 million euros for shelter, food and basic necessities. 

After four years of jihadist occupation, Mosul and the populations of the Nineveh plain are free and reconstruction is beginning. The three major Churches of Iraq have signed an agreement with Aid to the Church in Need to work on the reconstruction of these populations. A project that has the express support of Pope Francis, who constantly recalls, in audiences and speeches, the reality of persecuted Christians and the need to help them and pray for them.

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