Iraqi Christians Consecrate Country to Mary, “Queen of Peace”

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2003 ( This afternoon, different Christian Churches in Iraq will consecrate the country to the Virgin Mary.

The solemn act will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Chaldean-rite Cathedral of St. Joseph in Baghdad, before a statue of the pilgrim Virgin, Queen of Peace, Vatican Radio confirmed.

For the past few days, the Christians of Baghdad have gathered to pray around the statue of the pilgrim Virgin, in many churches of the city. The statue has been on pilgrimage in Iraq since 1998. The announcement of the consecration was made on Sunday, March 16, in all the churches of the capital.

The act of consecration will be attended by representatives of the Catholic Church and of other Christian confessions.

The Chaldean Patriarchate will be represented by Bishop Shlemon Warduni and Bishop Emmanuel-Karim Delly; the Latin Catholic Church by Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman; the Syrian Catholic Church by Archbishop Athanasius Matti Shaba Matoka; the Armenian Catholic Church by Archbishop Paul Coussa; the Syrian Orthodox Church by Archbishop Saverius Jamil Hawa; and the Assyrian Church by Archbishop Ghevargese Warda Daniel Sliwa.