IAEA’s ElBaradei bows out with prayer of St. Francis

November 28, 2009


(Photo: ElBaradei addresses IAEA board of governors, 27 Nov 2009/Herwig Prammer)

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Muslim from Egypt, has finished his 12-year term as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quoting one of Christianity’s most popular prayers. In a short meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna on Friday, the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that “the moment of departure is an opportunity to reflect upon a journey of joy, challenges, pleasure and fulfilment.” At the end of his career at the IAEA, which began in 1984 as a legal adviser, the world was “finally returning to its senses. People are speaking of a world free of nuclear weapons, of one human family and of a world that lifts people out of poverty.”

He endedĀ his final remarks to the Board of Governors by reading out a short version of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is error let me sow truth
Where there is discord let me sow unity
Where there is despair let me sow hope
For it is in giving that we receive.

The Italian saint has clearly been on ElBaradei’s mind in his final days as head of the IAEA. On Nov. 17, he visited Assisi, birthplace and burial place of St. Francis, and called him “a man whose life of self-sacrifice and dedication to serving the poor remains a powerful inspiration for people of all faiths eight centuries after his death” .

Three days later, delivering the 2009 Willy Brandt lecture at Berlin’s Humboldt University, he ended his address by saying: “This week, I was invited to speak at the Sacred Convent of St. Francis of Assisi. I was absolutely gripped by one of St. FrancisĀ“s prayers, in which he says: ‘Lord, make me a channel of your peace.’ I pray that every one of us will be a channel for peace.”


(Photo: St Francis Basilica in Assisi, 28 Nov 1999/Paolo Cocco)

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Just try to build a christian church in a muslim country. Fat chance……!

Posted by Al Emanuel | Report as abusive

Emanuelyou seem be don’t know that we have many churches in Egypt . You can search in Google about Churches in Egypt & you can know that we have many and in all my life I have many christian friends from primary school till college, no one feel any differences between each other. My boss in work is christian & I respect him so much.All what I need you to review your thoughts about Muslim countries like Egypt & Media is the responsible no.1 in this problem . I f you want to know the true , read more to get more .

Posted by Abdel Hamid | Report as abusive

I agreed with what Abdel Hamid just said about rilegions in Egypt there is realy no defrents among them, try to reed more about that and you will find the truth.and like what you have reed in what El Baradie said, the Egyptian see o defrence between moslems and cristians

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive

To uninformed Al Emanuel,In fact, about 15 per cent of Egyptians are Christians, primarily adherents of the Coptic Othodox faith. There are literally thousands of Christian churches in Egypt, whose members worship free of persecution or government interference of any kind, and harmoniously coexist with their Muslim neighbours. So please educate yourself, sir, before you stoke the fires of Islamophobia.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

It’s nice to hear someone say this prayer. We have so much to learn from each other’s religion. Indeed if we ignore the external layers of religion, we will see they are all pathway to God.

Posted by ROBINSON | Report as abusive