The archbishop told ACI Mena, Catholic News Agency’s Arabic-language news partner, that “the tones of the bell are an invitation … to unite hearts to denounce violence and wars.”

“We hope that all the original residents will return to their homes and return to their material and moral rights to taste the taste of safety and stability and live in the bosom of their city,” Michaeel said.

The Cathedral of St. Paul reopened in 2019 after suffering damage during the Islamic State’s occupation of Mosul from 2014 to 2017.

In Pope Francis’ historic trip to Iraq last year, the pope prayed in Mosul surrounded by the rubble of churches damaged or destroyed after the Islamic State proclaimed its caliphate in the city. The Islamic State ruled Mosul for almost three years before Iraqi and international forces reclaimed the city street by street.