Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Muslim Professor's Tribute to his Friend, a Slain Iraqi Priest (Requiescat in Pace)

Biretta Tip to Fr. Jim Tucker

ROME, JUNE 6, 2007 ( Here is a translation of a letter written posthumously to Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni by a Muslim friend of his who is a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Father Ragheed and three deacons were shot and killed in Mosul, Iraq, on Sunday after Mass.

* * *In the name of the compassionate and merciful God,

Ragheed, my brother,I ask your forgiveness for not being with you when those criminals opened fire against you and your brothers. The bullets that have gone through your pure and innocent body have also gone through my heart and soul.You were one of the first people I met when I arrived to Rome. We met in the halls of the Angelicum and we would drink our cappuccino in the university's cafeteria. You impressed me with your innocence, joy, your pure and tender smile that never left you.I always picture you smiling, joyful and full of zest for life. Ragheed is to me innocence personified; a wise innocence that carries in its heart the sorrows of his unhappy people. I remember the time, in the university's dining room, when Iraq was under embargo and you told me that the price of a single cappuccino would have satisfied the needs of an Iraqi family for a whole day.You told me this as if you were feeling guilty for being far away from your persecuted people and unable to share in their sufferings …In fact, you returned to Iraq, not only to share the suffering and destiny of your people but also to join your blood to the blood of thousands of Iraqis killed each day. I will never forget the day of your ordination [Oct. 13, 2001] in the [Pontifical] Urbanian University … with tears in your eyes, you told me: "Today, I have died to self" … a hard thing to say.

Read the rest here


D.A. Silvestri said...

It breaks my heart to read it, but it is a beautiful testimony to the life of one of God's servants.

Riposa in Pace

Benedictus said...

"It breaks my heart to read it, but it is a beautiful testimony to the life of one of God's servants.
Riposa in Pace"

It looks like there was a close, fraternal bond between these two men, both belonging to different faiths some "religious right" folks in my country believe should not exist between a Muslim and a Christian. But thee it is.

Benedictus said...

"But thee it is"

LOL! I meant to say "THERE it is."

No, I wasn't trying to wax "Elizabethan.";-)

D.A. Silvestri said...

LOL - waxing Elizabethan is perchance a good thing
'For all that moveth, doth in change delight:
But thenceforth all shall rest eternally
With Him that is the God of Sabboath hight:
O that great Sabboath God, graunt him that Sabaoths sight'.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someday down the road this man will hear the call of Christ and join him. I am sure his friend is praying for that day. How are we to share a Merciful God with others if we do not befriend them?

May his memory be eternal!