Pope Francis has expressed his deep sadness at the terrorist bombing at the Al-Wuhailat market in Baghdad, with a papal telegram sent through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
“He sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, entrusting their souls to the mercy of Almighty God,” the message continued.
“His Holiness renews his fervent prayers that no act of violence will diminish the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace in Iraq.”
At least 35 people were killed and nearly twice that number wounded when the suicide bomber exploded a device on Monday, the eve of the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.
This was the deadliest such attack in Baghdad in the past six months. ISIL (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pope Francis in Iraq
Pope Francis visited Iraq in March earlier this year, in one of the most intense and visually moving visits of his pontificate.
In Mosul, he prayed a prayer in suffrage for all the victims of the ongoing violence in Iraq, saying its diverse religious and cultural fabric “is weakened by the loss of any of its members, however small.”
“To you we entrust all those whose span of earthly life was cut short by the violent hand of their brothers and sisters; we also pray to you for those who caused such harm to their brothers and sisters. May they repent, touched by the power of your mercy.
“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
“May they rest in peace. Amen.”