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Pope Francis returns historic prayer book saved from Islamic State to the Nineveh Plains

During his trip to Iraq, Pope Francis returned a historic Aramaic prayer manuscript which was restored after the Islamic State desecrated the Catholic church where it was once held.

Dating back to sometime between the 14th and 15th century, the book contains liturgical prayers in Aramaic for the season of Easter in the Syriac tradition.

The manuscript was formerly kept in the Great Al-Tahira Immaculate Conception Church (pictured below), in Bakhdida, also known as Qaraqosh. The Syriac Catholic church was plundered and set alight when the Islamic State had control of the town from 2014 to 2016.

Pope Francis visited the church on March 7 and prayed the Angelus with the local Christians from towns and villages across the Nineveh Plains. The church was completely restored by Aid to the Church in Need.

While visiting the Immaculate Conception Church, the pope presented the manuscript to Syrian Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Boutros Mouche of Mosul. 

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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