Vatican City, Mar 4, 2021 / 04:00 am (CNA).- A day before he departs for Baghdad, Pope Francis sent a video message to the Iraqi people, saying that he was coming to Iraq as “a pilgrim of peace.”

“I am coming as a pilgrim, as a penitent pilgrim, to implore from the Lord forgiveness and reconciliation after years of war and terrorism, to beg from God the consolation of hearts and the healing of wounds,” the pope said in the video message released March 5.

“Yes, I am coming as a pilgrim of peace, seeking fraternity and prompted by the desire to pray together and to walk together, also with our brothers and sisters of other religious traditions, in the steps of Father Abraham, who joins in one family Muslims, Jews and Christians,” he said.

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