Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Middle East,

Weeks ago, we listened to the dramatic petitions of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the personal envoy of Pope Francis. They came after his visits with Iraq population,  Christians and the Yazidis minorities, both of which have been for weeks victims of an intense and ferocious persecution by fundamentalist militias of the “Islamic State”. His words were: “Hurry! Do not leave us alone!”

Hearing this, we at Catholic-Link decided to do what we could by launching a prayer campaign called #20DaysforPeace (#20DíasporlaPaz). Together with all the hundreds of people who participated we want to tell you: You are not alone!

Faced with the unfaceable, many of our forefathers of the faith have sought refuge in the Lord’s tender gaze, saying, “Why Lord do you ask this of me?” Recall Moises on the day when the Lord called him to free his people in Egypt. Think of Gideon, the youngest member of the poorest family, when the Lord call him to free Israel from Midian. Think of Jeremiah, prophet sent by God to call his people to conversion. Think of that young Nazarene girl named Mary, when the Angel called her to be the mother of the child Messiahs, a sign which shall be contradicted.

How did the Lord respond? “Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

Dear friends in Christ, it is a mystery why you must endure such sufferings. Yet let us rejoice together as we remember our Crucified Lord. Let us rejoice together knowing that He has conquered this world. Let us rejoice together at the opportunity to to fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of  Christ, in our flesh, for his body, which is the church.

Amongst your darkness, we pray and hope to provide a light. For brothers and sisters, when the Lord says that He is with you, He speaks for his entire body the Church. We too are with you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Never lose the faith, never allow hope to be extinguished in your hearts, never stop illuminating the world with your testimonies of holiness. You task is great, perhaps it seems to great. But never forget: You are not alone.

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