Pastoral Message of the Chaldean Martyrs Anniversary
Friday 6 April 2018
Patriarch louis raphael Sako
The commemoration of the martyrs of our Church takes place on the Friday following Easter, which means it comes within the celebration of the Easter-Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Historically, our Church has been generous in shedding blood for the sake of faith, such as Mar Shimon Barssaba’i and his companions in early centuries, followed by Bishops: Adday Sher, Jacob Abraham, Thomas Audo and hundreds of others. As well as the unforgettable genocide in 1915 and recently in 2008 Archbishop Faraj Rahho, Father Ragheed Kenny, their comrades by the extremists of Al-qaeda.
The resurrection and the blood of the martyrs are a source of inspiration and have a spiritual values that fills our life with hope, human dignity, tolerance and peace. Our nation will rise up and get rid of all forms of terrorism, killing, destruction and displacement, and will enjoy security, stability, economic and social prosperity.
Remembering Martyrs in Easter time provides us with hope, renew our trust in life, and fulfil our wishes.
Currently, there is more awareness among the church leadership in the Middle East, that strength comes from our unity, the same thing applies to Christians at-large at this region. Therefore, they are looking forward for more interaction between the church leadership at this critical time.
As, we hope that the clergy and the faithful will be aware of the challenges and threats, we encourage them to realize their responsibilities in working as one team, because their existence and strength relies on unity, which is the only way to make changes. Christians are also called to be committed to their “sacred” homeland, believing deeply that good deeds, love and peace will ultimately overcome injustice.
Joining Pope Francis, I would like to stress, that the spiritual, human and social message of the Church is universal: stating that our mission is to serve and love by following Christ. We must find ways to provide more comfort, stability and well-being to people after all the anguish they have suffered from terrorism and destruction. One of these ways, is to build the villages and cities that were destroyed by conflict in order to allow the internally displaced people returning to their homes.
We hope that this special occasion will provide a new vision for the mission of the Church, especially that we need in such circumstances to preserve the remaining number of Christians in Iraq and create more interaction between clergy and their faithful on one hand and between them and their fellows of other religions on the other hand to disperse darkness from this land of civilizations.