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"Open our hearts to forgiveness, make us instruments of reconciliation."

On Saturday morning, Pope Francis held an interreligious meeting with representatives of religious confessions, especially Islam. At the conclusion of the meeting, they recited together a Prayer of the children of Abraham.

Rafael Miner-March 6, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo: Vatican Media

After his visit to Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, leader of the Shiites in Iraq, Pope Francis went to the south of Iraq, in Nassiriya, for an interreligious meeting in Ur of the Chaldees, the homeland of the prophet Abraham. 

During the meeting, passages from the Book of Genesis and from the Koran were read and testimonies were given. The Holy Father then delivered his speech, which we have reported on this portal 

At the end of his remarks, the Holy Father and the other religious leaders recited a so-called "The Holy Father's Prayer". Prayer of the children of Abraham. Here is the full text:

"Omnipotent God, our Creator who loves the human family and all that your hands have made, we, the sons and daughters of Abraham belonging to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, together with other believers and all people of good will, thank you for having given us Abraham, the illustrious son of this noble and beloved land, as our common father in faith. 

We thank you for his example as a man of faith who obeyed you to the end, leaving his family, his tribe and his homeland to go to a land he did not know. 

We also thank you for the example of courage, resilience and fortitude, of generosity and hospitality that our common father in faith has given us. 

We thank you, in particular, for his heroic faith, demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice his son to obey your command. We know that it was a very difficult trial, from which, nevertheless, he emerged victorious, because unconditionally he trusted in You, who are merciful and always open up new possibilities to begin again. 

We thank you because, by blessing our father Abraham, you have made him a blessing to all peoples. 

We ask you, God of our father Abraham and our God, to grant us a strong faith, diligent in doing good, a faith that opens our hearts to you and to all our brothers and sisters; and an invincible hope, capable of perceiving everywhere the faithfulness of your promises. 

Make each one of us a witness of your loving care for all, especially for refugees and displaced persons, widows and orphans, the poor and the sick. 

Open our hearts to mutual forgiveness and make us instruments of reconciliation, builders of a more just and fraternal society. 

Welcome into your dwelling place of peace and light all the dead, especially the victims of violence and war. 

It assists civilian authorities in the search and rescue of kidnapped persons, and in particular in the protection of women and children. 

Help us to care for the planet, the common home which, in your goodness and generosity, you have given to all of us. 

Support our hands in the reconstruction of this country, and grant us the strength to help all those who have had to leave their homes and lands in order to achieve security and dignity, and to begin a new, serene and prosperous life. Amen.

In the afternoon, the Holy Father celebrated the first Mass of a Pope with the Chaldean rite, in the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Joseph in the capital, Baghdad. The liturgical celebration took place in Italian, Chaldean and Arabic, and the prayers of the faithful were read in Arabic, an Aramaic dialect, Kurdish, Turkmen and English. Cardinal Archbishop Louis Cardinal Raphaël Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, addressed a greeting to the Holy Father at the end.

At the conclusion of the homily, the Holy Father assured the faithful that the Lord promises each one that his name is written in their hearts, in heaven, and added: "And today I thank him with you and for you, because here, where in ancient times wisdom arose, in the present times many witnesses have appeared, whom the chronicles often overlook, and yet who are precious in the eyes of God; witnesses who, living the beatitudes, help God to fulfill his promises of peace."

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