Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has sent a message to the world’s Muslims as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan gets underway.
“We at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue are glad to offer you our fraternal good wishes for a month rich in divine blessings and spiritual advancement. Fasting, along with prayer, almsgiving and other pious practices, brings us closer to God our Creator and to all those with whom we live and work, and helps us to continue walking together on the path of fraternity.”
Hope and common ground are central themes of the message, very much in keeping with other messages from the Pontifical Council to the world’s religious communities during the pandemic.
Allying Christians and Muslims as ‘Witnesses of Hope’, Cardinal Ayuso Guixot praises the contribution of religious believers during lockdown:
“During these long months of suffering, anguish and sorrow, especially during the lockdown periods, we sensed our need for divine assistance, but also for expressions and gestures of fraternal solidarity: a telephone call, a message of support and comfort, a prayer, help in buying medicines or food, advice, and, to put it simply, the security of knowing that someone is always there for us in times of necessity.
“The divine assistance that we need and seek, especially in circumstances like those of the current pandemic, is manifold: God’s mercy, pardon, providence and other spiritual and material gifts. Yet, what we need most in these times, is hope. At this time, then, we think it fitting to share with you some reflections on this virtue.”
After a reflection on hope, Cardinal Ayuso Guixot calls on Christians and Muslims to stand alongside society’s most vulnerable to help them towards a better future:
“We, Christians and Muslims, are called to be bearers of hope, for the present life and for the life to come, and to be witnesses, restorers and builders of this hope, especially for those experiencing difficulties and despair.”
The message concludes with an assurance of prayer and best wishes for a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan and joyful ‘Id al-Fitr.
You can download an English-language PDF of the full message.
You can also download a printable two-page PDF for Eid -al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan with information, bidding prayers, newsletter text and more.