Love for our “Muslim brothers and for Iraq” in Mgr Rahho’s Will

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Faraj RahoThe Will of the Chaldean archbishop slain by Islamic terrorists last month is published. It includes no material bequests but a strong message upon which to build peace and love among religious communities. His notion of death is one of openness, of “giving oneself to a new and infinite God”.

Mosul (AsiaNews) – In his Will Mgr Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul who was found dead last 13 March 14 days after he was abducted, delivers himself fully, totally and without limits into the hands of God. In his last wishes, published by the Arabic-language website and dated 15 August 2003, the prelate killed by Islamic terrorists sends a strong message of love and brotherhood to all religious communities in his “Beloved Iraq”, remembering with particular tenderness the disabled people cared for by the ‘Charity and Joy Brotherhood” he founded in 1989.

“From you I learnt about love; you taught me to love,” he wrote about them, whilst to his relatives he simply said: “I own nothing and whatever I have is not mine. Even I belong to the Church and on the Church you have no claim.”

In commenting the Will Fr Amer Youkhanna, a Chaldean clergyman from Mosul, said he was “struck” by what his bishop had to say about death.

“In saying that life after death is the continuation of giving oneself to God, but in ways that are greater and more infinite, he is telling us that what awaits us is not only a ‘passive’ reward but a life in which the Lord involves us more with Him.”

Here are a few excerpts from the Will, translated from the Arabic by AsiaNews.

“None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, 3 and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s,” (Romans, 14:7-8).

Death is a dreadful reality, more dreadful than any other reality, and each one of us must deal with it. People who give their lives, themselves, their being and all they possess to God and to others express this way the profound faith they have in God and their trust in Him. The Eternal Father takes care of everyone and harms no one because his love is infinite. He is Love as well as fatherhood at its fullest. This way we understand death. Death means a stop to this giving to God and others (i.e. in this life) in order to open up and give oneself again, without end or flaw. Life means fully placing oneself in the hands of God. In death giving becomes infinite in eternal life.

I call upon all of you to be open to our Muslim and Yazidi brothers and to all the children of our Beloved Homeland, to work together to build solid ties of love and brotherhood among the children of our Beloved Country, Iraq.

Servant in the Gospel of Christ

Paulos Faraj Rahho