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Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass at Erbil’s Franso Hariri Stadium on Sunday, March 7, following a visit to Mosul, where he recited prayers in Hosh al-Bieaa for the comfort of the souls of war victims and a visit to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh.
The Pope’s historic visit to Iraq comes as part of an initiative to preserve Iraq’s ancient Christian communities and support the return of those Christians driven out by ISIS.
In his Apostolic visit to Iraq, the Pope met the influential Shia Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Husaymi Al-Sistani in Najaf and visited the ancient city of Ur, the biblical birthplace of patriarch Abraham, as well as the Nineveh Plain, whose residents witnessed the hellish atrocities committed by members of the Islamic State.
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