The Patriarchate Media: His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael I Sako declared on Saturday evening, 26 April 2014, the night both their holiness the Blessed Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were to be declared as Saints, the Church of the Queen of the Rosary in Karrada Kharej in Baghdad a shrine of Saint Pope John Paul II after a statue of the Saint Pope was put in the nave of the church along with a personal relic.
His Beatitude announcement came during the Holy Mass celebrated by His Beatitude at the Church of the Queen of the Rosary, along with His Excellency the Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, their Excellency Auxiliary Bishops Shlemon Warduni and Jacques Isaac, together with the priests of the Diocese of Baghdad and of its believers who flocked from across Baghdad, filling the church.
In his homily, Patriarch Sako stated the characteristics of both Popes and some personal memories with Saint John Paul II, and called for adherence to these characteristics and requested their intercession for peace and stability in our country and the Middle East. At the end of the Holy Mass, the parishioners circled around the statue of the Saint Pope, and everyone recited a prayer asking for his intercession for the youth, the believers and the needy.
At this occasion, the image of both Saints Popes was distributed as a gift from the Diwan press, which also distributed a brochure with their life biography along with the readings of the Holy Mass. The statue of the Saint Pope came as a gift from a group of Romanian pilgrims who visited Iraq a few months ago. The statue will remain in the Church of the Queen of the Rosary to be visited by all faithful in Baghdad.