Baghdad,Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael I Louis Sako: Amid War and Crises, Christmas is the Middle East’s Real Hope

By Mar Louis Raphael I Sako (Asia News)
On his first Christmas as patriarch, Mar Raphael Louis Sako I will address the Christians of Iraq, the Middle East and the Diaspora, pointing out that the face of the Child Jesus is a source of wellness and prosperity, for our “Muslim brothers” too. Priests and the faithful must turn churches into “real grottoes,” enlivened by the love and warmth of the faith.

In the Christmas message His Beatitude Mar Raphael I Louis Sako will address to the faithful during Christmas Mass, which he is sharing with AsiaNews , the Chaldean patriarch focuses on the situation in Iraq, on the suffering of the Christian community as well as the whole population. In it, he calls on the faithful to welcome others through solidarity, unity and hope. He also invites them to look at the child’s face, that it may be “a sign for everyone,” even for our “Muslim brothers”, and a source of “prosperity” for the country and “wellness” for its people.

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Hopeful that the festivity will be an opportunity to rediscover the “supernatural presence of God,” the Chaldean Patriarch also addresses both priests and the faithful, calling on them to be of “service” so that their churches may become “a real grotto,” enlivened “by love and warmth, as well as faith, hope and unity.” At the same time, he is also confident that the festivity will generate new “strength” to unite those who have been separated, and bring home the emigrants who left their motherland.

Here is Mar Sako’s message:

In the midst of the critical and hard circumstances that we live and experience in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East, our Christmas celebration comes to revive hope within us. Christmas gives us strength and confidence to rebuild what was destroyed during the lean years, and to restore what was deformed, and to join together who were separated, and bring back who had migrated. And divine blessings for us and our beloved ones, all year through.