POPE EXPRESSES CLOSENESS TO IRAQI PM FOLLOWING ATTACK – PROGRAM FOR POPE FRANCIS’ VISIT TO ASSISI – NOVEMBER 9: FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. JOHN LATERAN

POPE EXPRESSES CLOSENESS TO IRAQI PM FOLLOWING ATTACK

Pope Francis sends a message of solidarity to Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the wake of an attack on his residence in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, after a recent attack on his residence, from which Al-Kadhimi came out unscathed.

The Prime Minister’s residence in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone was attacked by an explosive-laden drone on Sunday. The drone struck the building injuring seven of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards and drawing condemnation from several quarters.

News sources say that three drones were used in the attack, but two were shot down.

“Following the attack on your residence in Baghdad, His holiness, Pope Francis wishes me to convey his prayerful closeness to you and your family, and to those injured,” read the telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis expressed hope that in condemning this “vile act of terrorism,” he is confident that with God’s blessing, the Iraqi people “will be confirmed in wisdom and strength in pursuing the path of peace through dialogue and fraternal solidarity.”

The Holy Father visited the Middle Eastern country from March 5 to 8 this year, making stops at Baghdad, Mosul, Qaraqosh and Erbil. The Prime Minister was part of the delegation that greeted the Holy Father upon his arrival at the Baghdad International Airport.

In July, Pope Francis received Al-Kadhimi in a private audience in the Vatican.

The Holy Father’s message joins the many voices condemning the Sunday attack on the Iraqi Prime Minister.

In an interview, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, denounced the attack, describing it as an attempt to destabilize the state that is based on law, citizenship, order and justice. Cardinal Sako encouraged Iraqi Christians not to get carried away by opposing tensions but to pray for the good of the country.

PROGRAM FOR POPE FRANCIS’ VISIT TO ASSISI

The Vatican has released the program for Pope Francis’ one-day, private visit to Assisi to meet the poor on November 12.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis will travel to the Italian town of Assisi on Friday, November 12, on the occasion of the World Day of the Poor. The meeting in Assisi, St. Francis’ hometown, will be a private one, during which Pope Francis will share moments of listening and prayer with about 500 people from all over Europe.

Arrival of the Holy Father in Assisi at 9:00 a.m.

In addition to the authorities, who will greet him in the courtyard of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope will be welcomed by the poor, who will form a symbolic “embrace” to welcome him. Some of the poor will also symbolically hand over to Pope Francis the pilgrim’s cloak and staff, indicating that all have come as pilgrims to the places of St Francis, to listen to his word.

In the Basilica

Testimony of six poor people (two French, one Polish, one Spanish, two Italians). Response of the Holy Father

10:30 a.m. Moment of pause to offer refreshments to the poor

11:00 a.m. Return to the Basilica. Moment of prayer with the Holy Father, Distribution of the Holy Father’s gift to the poor

Concluding greetings

The Pope returns to the Vatican by helicopter while the poor will be hosted for lunch by the Bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino.

NOVEMBER 9: FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. JOHN LATERAN

(franciscanmedia.org) – Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake, and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated. In the 14th century when the papacy returned to Rome from Avignon, the church and the adjoining palace were found to be in ruins.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds Saint Peter himself celebrated Mass. (JFL photos)

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Reflection: Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches, this anniversary is a feast. The dedication of a church is a feast for all its parishioners. In a sense, St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope’s cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church.