Bishop of Bagdad Issues Prayer Challenge
Bishop Saad Sirop Hanna, the Chaldean Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, issued a video “prayer challenge” to pray for half an hour before the Blessed Sacrament today, Aug. 26th, at 6 pm in his home diocese (11 am in Greater Cincinnati).
Originally issuing his challenge in Arabic, Bishop Saad recorded an English version of the challenge, he says in the video, because of many requests to do so. Posted on his Facebook page, the video is a response to what he calls “people challenging each other” in various places in the world. “I think that the real challenge is the challenge of evil and immorality that exists in our world… the challenge of evil that we produce in our hearts and in our minds by thought, by actions, by intentions,” he says.
“I challenge you, my dear brothers and sisters wherever you are, I challenge you to stay 30 minutes in prayer and in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament… on Tuesday at 6 pm in Iraq’s time. We will all be united in prayer for the peace in Iraq and for the refugees here in the north of Iraq. They are living in very bad conditions, they need our support. They need our prayer. I challenge you: Don’t forget your brothers and sisters.”
Bishop Saad asks all who unite in this prayer challenge to take a photo of themselves and send it to him (via Facebook). “Take a picture of you, individual, or by group also. Write anything you want, any phrase that you want to communicate with these people. I will post it on my Facebook and I will write an article about it in the newspaper. God bless you all.”
Then-Father Saad was kidnapped and held for 28 days by Muslim terrorists in 2006, the first priest to be kidnapped. He has consistently spoken out for freedom for all Iraq’s peoples and religions, urging ”universal action for the common good of the country, which is the patrimony of all humanity” in one 2007 statement. Former director of theology at the Pontifical College of Babel for Philosophy and Theology (now being used as a military base for American troops), he was ordained a priest in 1993. By the early 2000s he was one of the last priests to remain in Baghdad and has been a voice for the ancient Chaldean people, and other persecuted people of Iraq, for years.
In a 2010 interview with Katholische Nachrichten Agentur (translation courtesy a SSPX site) then-Msgr. Saad said, “sometimes I get the impression that in Europe does not understand the history of Christians in Iraq. The Europeans do not know who we are, how we live here, what we do here, they know our church does not, they do not know how to pray.”
Perpetual Adoration is available in chapels at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, St. Maximilian Kolbe in Liberty Twp., St. Gertrude in Madeira, St. Boniface in Piqua, and several other locations in the region. If you take up Bishop Saad’s prayer challenge, either in front of the Blessed Sacrament or in your home or parish, send your photos to us at TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com, or post them on our Facebook page.
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