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Pope Francis Full Iraq Schedule

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Pope Francis Full Iraq Schedule

Here is the full itinerary of the trip.

The Pope’s schedule in Iraq, in summary:

  1. Friday, March 5: Arrives in Baghdad
  2. Saturday, March 6: Najaf, Nassiriya, Ur
  3. Sunday, March 7: Erbil, Mosul, Qaraqosh
  4. Monday, March 8: Farewell ceremony at Baghdad’s airport

    Friday, March 5: Baghdad

    Pope Francis begins his four-day trip on Friday.

    The pope will arrive at Iraq International Airport, where he will meet Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, before a short ride to the Presidential Palace in Baghdad for an official welcoming ceremony.

    He will then visit the Church of Our Lady of Salvation, the scene of a 2010 terror attack where six ISIS suicide bombers killed 58 people, including the church’s priest.

    Saturday, March 6: Najaf, Nassiriya, Ur

    Pope Francis will take off the following day to Najaf for a significant meeting with Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani in a bold statement on interreligious tolerance and dialogue.

    Mr Al Sistani is six years older than the 84 year-old pope and seen far less frequently. He rarely accepts visitors, although an exception has clearly been made to mark the historic occasion.

    Emphasising his endorsement of religious tolerance, Pope Francis will next fly to Nassiriya for an interreligious meeting in the ancient Iraqi city of Ur, believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, the patriarch of the three great monotheistic religions.

    He will head back to Baghdad on March 6 in time for Mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph before another important day.

    Sunday, March 7: Erbil, Mosul, Qaraqosh

    On Sunday, March 7, the pope flies to Erbil for a meeting with Kurdish authorities, including the president and prime minister of the Kurdistan Region, who rule over Iraq’s largest ethnic minority.

    Pope Francis will travel by helicopter to Mosul’s Hosh Al Bieaa, which will resound with prayer for the victims of the war against ISIS.

    The pope will then head to the heart of Iraqi Christianity in Qaraqosh, where his presence will most strongly resonate for the dwindling community that is at the core of the papal visit.

    On his final night in Iraq, Erbil’s Franso Hariri football stadium will echo with spirituality as the pope leads Holy Mass.

    Monday, March 8: Farewell

    Pope Francis will receive a farewell ceremony at Baghdad’s airport on Monday morning, before he returns to Rome.

    If all goes well, Pope Francis will have created a welcome break in the troubled recent history of a country once considered the beacon of enlightenment in the Middle East.

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