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Saint of the Day: St. Paul of the Cross
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Lift high the cross: Iraqi Christians erect large cross after liberation from ISIS

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/24/17

From CNA:

After years of darkness, hope has returned to Telekuf-Tesqopa. Located just 17 miles from Mosul, the village is rebuilding after being liberated from ISIS. As a visible sign of the rebuilding, a giant cross was erected on a hill, marking the victory of the Christian faith against the darkness of the jihadists. On Feb. 18, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Sako, visited the village, where he blessed the large cross and participated in the celebration of the first Mass after two and a half years in Saint George Church. According to the website of the Patriarchate of Babylon, the authorities and officials of the region were present at the celebration. In his homily, Patriarch Sako said that this event is “the first spark of light shining in all the cities of the Nineveh Plain since the darkness of ISIS, which lasted almost two and a half years.” “This is our land and this is our home,” he told the faithful. He also said that now is the time to regain hope and for the people to return to their towns to begin a new stage of life. The patriarch said that Christians will thus demonstrate to the world that the forces of darkness, which wreaked havoc and ravaged their land, are ephemeral and that the Church of Christ, although it suffers, is built upon rock. When the Mass was over, everyone went out to a hill located on the outskirts of the city. There Patriarch Sako blessed the huge cross which was raised amid fireworks and with cries of “Victory! Victory! Victory!  For those who chose the faith and those who return!” The Catholic Patriarch said that this cross will announce “to the world that this is our land, we were born here and we will die here. Our ancestors were buried in this pure land and we are going to remain to preserve them with all our might and for future generations.”

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