Pope Francis is currently on an Apostolic journey to Georgia. He flew into the nation’s capital Tbilisi on Friday 30th of September and his third and last appointment of the day took place at the Chaldean Catholic Church of Simon ‘Bar Sabbae’, dedicated to a tenth century Coptic Saint. There he met with representatives of the Assyrian Chaldean community.
Upon his arrival at the Church the Pope was greeted by the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and the local parish priest. Together they entered the Church in procession, making their way towards the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament therein. .
Among those present were around three hundred faithful from the Assyrian Chaldean ‘Diaspora’. Not just from the nation’s capital but also from nearby towns and villages. For the record the Catholic Assyrian Chaldean mission in Georgia was instituted in 1995 under Vatican jurisdiction and from that year on the Chaldean rite was celebrated in the nation. But it was only in 2004 that the growing number of Chaldean parishioners prompted the construction of the Church of Saint Simon.
So it was in this Church on Friday that celebrations took place, beginning with sacred music and prayers in Aramaic. That’s before Pope Francis himself prayed for peace in the world.
Speaking in Italian he implored the Lord to save the victims of injustice and maltreatment from their suffering, to confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life shine forth, to unite to His Cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims: the children, the elderly, and the persecuted Christians. Envelop in Paschal light, he went on to implore, those who are deeply wounded, those who are abused and deprived of freedom and dignity. May those who live in uncertainty experience the enduring constancy of Your kingdom, be they exiles, refugees or those who have lost the joy of living. Lord Jesus, he continued, cast forth the shadow of Your Cross over peoples at war, may they learn the way of reconciliation, dialogue and forgiveness. May peoples, so wearied by bombing, experience the joy of Your Resurrection and raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation, reunite your dispersed children under Your gentle kingship.
Finally before asking Our Lady to intercede in faith and hope Pope Francis asked the Lord to sustain Christians in the ‘Diaspora’ and grant them unity of faith and love. Only then at the end of his first day in Georgia after praying for peace, in a symbolic gesture he released a dove into the evening air.
Please find below a translation of the Prayer for Peace of His Holiness Pope Francis delivered at the Catholic Chaldean Church of Saint Simon Bar Sabbae.
we adore your cross
which frees us from sin, the origin of every division and evil;
we proclaim your resurrection,
which ransoms man from the slavery of failure and death;
we await your coming in glory,
which will bring to fulfilment your kingdom of justice, joy and peace.
by your glorious passion,
conquer the hardness of our hearts, imprisoned by hatred and selfishness;
by the power of your resurrection,
save the victims of injustice and maltreatment from their suffering;
by the fidelity of your coming,
confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life shine forth.
unite to your cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims:
the children, the elderly, and the persecuted Christians;
envelop in paschal light those who are deeply wounded:
abused persons, deprived of freedom and dignity;
let those who live in uncertainty experience the enduring constancy of your kingdom: the exiles, refugees, and those who have lost the joy of living.
cast forth the shadow of your cross over peoples at war;
may they learn the way of reconciliation, dialogue and forgiveness;
let the peoples so wearied by bombing experience the joy of your resurrection:
raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation;
reunite your dispersed children under your gentle kingship:
sustain Christians in the Diaspora and grant them the unity of faith and love.
O Virgin Mary, Queen of peace,
you who stood at the foot of the cross,
obtain from your Son pardon for our sins;
you who never doubted the victory of his resurrection,
sustain our faith and our hope;
you who are enthroned as Queen in glory,
teach us the royal road of service and the glory of love. Amen.