Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, following the historic event of the Holy Father’s trip to Iraq, expresses gratitude to Pope Francis who overcame all difficulties to go to meet these peoples as a sign of God’s love.

The words of Mother Yvonne Reungoat:

“Penitent and pilgrim of faith and peace in Iraq, I invoke from God for this people, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the strength to rebuild the Country together in fraternity”.

(from the Book of Honor signed by Pope Francis in the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, in Baghdad on 5 March  2021).

With these few words, Pope Francis sculpted the reason for this trip to Iraq, the 33rd  trip of his Pontificate. A journey to a martyred land, tried by violence and persecution, forced into an inhuman exodus that wounded peace, extinguished hope in this land that gave birth to Abraham and where one of the oldest Christian communities resides.

We are all following this historical event that has no comparison, with lively participation, with trepidation, with admiration for the apostolic daring of Pope Francis who faces a risky journey for his safety, but was firmly determined not to cancel from his personal agenda the date of this memorable trip: March 5-8, 2021!

It is a long-matured desire in his heart as a Father, as a Shepherd, as a ‘Pilgrim of peace’. A mission embraced with love, supported by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the dream of St. John Paul II, and to bring, in the name of the one God, a message of hope, an invitation to forgiveness and reconciliation, to sow the seed of rebirth in this people, remembering that “we are all brothers and sisters”.

The voice of young people, the poignant cry: “We are tired of suffering“, found in Pope Francis a great response. The will to be a simple, humble instrument in the hands of God, to open horizons of life, build bridges of fraternity, reconcile cultural and religious differences around a single purpose: to promote gradual processes of re-building peace in mutual respect.

We know that this process is a slow journey, which requires patience and, above all, a lot of prayer, so that the seed sown with discretion and love will bear the fruit desired by God. I am sure that in all our communities, prayer preceded Pope Francis’s journey in Iraq, is still accompanying him, and will continue afterwards. An ‘after’ that requires from all of us, and with us the Educating Communities  and the young, a constant and generous intercession to the Lord, asking that what was  lived in these few days may open a new future.

Two of our sisters who belong to the Middle East Province are originally from Iraq. The desire to open a community was blocked due to the war. We feel in communion with families and young people who have suffered and continue to suffer. With our sisters, we are grateful to Pope Francis for the gesture with which he overcame all difficulties to meet these peoples as a sign of God’s love.

The love for the Pope, which our Founder left us as a precious legacy, urges us to continue our commitment to pray and offer for the health of Pope Francis and  that his message of fraternity may reach and touch the hearts of political and religious leaders,  and of every brother and sister of this land so loved by God.

We assure the Holy Father that, not only now but always, he can count on our commitment to welcome the richness of his Magisterium and to communicate it through the education of the new generations. There can be no peace, harmony, justice, and respect for human rights without education and the conversion of hearts.

May Mary, Mother and Help of Christians of the Church, bless him, give him the joy of feeling supported by her in this very delicate period that awaits a new spring of hope.

Thank you, dear Pope Francis, for being in this unprecedented time ‘messenger’ of hope and builder of peace!

Sr. Yvonne Reungoat – Superior General


  1. Gracias PAPA Francisco, te hemos seguito por medio TV, gracias por tu testimonio penitente, peregrino de Paz y de Esperanza, has dejado una gran semilla de Amor y de Evangelico de perdono. Ntra Madre Auxiliadora te sostiene, fraternamente Sor Aida


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