In memoria aeterna erit justus

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Father Ragheed Ganni
Chaldean Rite Catholic Priest
Diocese of Mosul, Iraq

Lord, we pray Thee
grant that the soul of the priest Thy servant Ragheed
whom during his earthly sojourn
Thou didst honour with sacred office,
may evermore find joy
in the glories of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who is God,
living and reigning with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
for ever and ever.

Born 20 January 1972 - Ordained 13 October 2001 - Died 3 June 2007
Student at the Pontifical Irish College 1996 – 2003

Requiem Mass for Father Ragheed will be celebrated according to the Chaldean funeral tradition on the “Third Day” in the College Chapel, Pontifical Irish College,
Thursday 7 June 2007 at 16.00.


This letter is PRICELESS...and shows that there is LOVE in the midst of war and evil...and that this same LOVE conquers in the end...and that for some special souls...there is indeed most probably a 'vocation' to be a REAL martyr...a witness to Christ...a witness to LOVE in the flesh!

A Muslim Friend's Letter to Slain Father Ragheed
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.

I didn't understand it right away, or maybe I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. … But today, through your martyrdom, I have understood that phrase. … You have died in your soul and body to be raised up in your beloved, in your teacher, and so that Christ would be raised up in you, despite the sufferings, sorrows, despite the chaos and madness.

In the name of what god of death have they killed you? In the name of which paganism have they crucified you? Did they truly know what they were doing?

O God, we don't ask you for revenge or retaliation. We ask you for victory, a victory of justice over falsehood, life over death, innocence over treachery, blood over the sword. … Your blood will not have been shed in vain, dear Ragheed, because with it you have blessed the soil of your country. And from heaven, your tender smile will continue to light the darkness of our nights and announce to us a better tomorrow.

I ask your forgiveness, brother, for when the living get together they think they have all the time in the world to talk, visit, and share feelings and thoughts. You had invited me to Iraq … I dreamed of that visit, of visiting your house, your parents, your office. … It never occurred to me that it would be your tomb that one day I would visit or that it would be verses from my Quran that I would recite for the repose of your soul …

One day, before your first trip to Iraq after a prolonged absence, I went with you to buy souvenirs and presents for your family. You spoke with me of your future work: "I would like to preside over the people on the base of charity before justice" -- you said.

It was difficult for me to imagine you a "canonical judge" … And today your blood and your martyrdom have spoken for you, a verdict of fidelity and patience, of hope against all suffering, of survival, in spite of death, in spite of everything.

Brother, your blood hasn't been shed in vain, and your church's altar wasn't a masquerade. … You assumed your role with deep seriousness until the end, with a smile that would never be extinguished … ever.

Your loving brother,

Adnam Mokrani
Rome, June 4, 2007
Professor of Islamic Studies in the Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture,
Pontifical Gregorian University

A special Mass will be celebrated in St Patrick's Church, Belfast on Saturday for the happy repose of the soul of Fr.Ragheed.
William Scholes, Religious Affairs Correspondent of Irish News in an article in today's paper, reports on Fr. Ragheed's links with St. Malachy's College, Belfast and with Lough Derg, a place of pilgrimage, and how priest friends say Fr. Ragheed regarded Ireland as a second home. Dr. Patrick Walsh, Bishop of Down and Connor will officiate at the Mass.

Father Mark,

Thank you for blessing us with the words of this heroic priest of Christ.

May the innocent blood of his holy martyrdom be the seed of the restoration of the Chaldean church, and of a just and lasting peace in the "cradle of civilization."

—Michael R. (Husband of Elena Maria Vidal of Tea at Trianon.)

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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