The Diocese of Des Moines
Bishop asks for prayers for Iraq
August 11, 2014
Written By: Anne Marie Cox

Bishop Richard Pates, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee of International Justice and Peace asked the U.S. bishops to invite the people of their dioceses to pray for peace in Iraq this Sunday, Aug. 17. Bishop Pates made the request Aug. 6, sending the bishops the text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako.


Bishop Pates recounted the struggles of Christians and others in Iraq who have faced the destruction, burning and looting of churches, homes and businesses and, under threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to join their extremist brand of Islam, have fled for their lives. Accordingly, he urged Catholics to let their elected representatives know of their concern that humanitarian assistance reach Christian and other religious minorities who are suffering in Iraq, Syria and other countries.


Bishop Pates also noted Pope Francis’ calls for peace in Iraq and his observation that “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.”


The full text of Patriarch Sako’s prayer for peace follows:



The plight of our country

is deep and the suffering of Christians

is severe and frightening.

Therefore, we ask you Lord

to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,

and courage to continue our witness of Christian values

with trust and hope.

Lord, peace is the foundation of life;

Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us

to live with each other without fear and anxiety,

and with dignity and joy.

Glory be to you forever. Save to


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