Catholics pray with Muslims as Ramadan ends

Wisdoms and flavours” at Sesto S. Giovanni.

As the Islamic holy month of fasting draws to a close, Muslims and Catholics will meet for an evening in the cultural centre Spazio Mil in Sesto S. Giovanni on 22 June to share the end of the day’s fast and the Iftar meal which follows at sunset.

Starting at 20.00, the communities will “pass the final moments [of the day] together in prayer, before enjoying dates and sharing exotic delicacies,” states a joint note from Sesto dean Don Leone Nuzzolese and the imam of the Sesto Islamic centre, Abdullah Tchina.

The note quotes the 49th Sure of the Koran: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” And it quotes Pope Francis’ call, in his bill Misericordiae Vultus announcing the Jubilee of Mercy, for “an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better.”

For the ninth successive year, the meeting aims at underlining the common importance of fasting for both Catholics and Muslims, as well as promoting dialogue and mobilising energy so that love can overcome hate, peace overcome strife, truth overcome lies and forgiveness overcome vendetta, concludes the invitation.

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims are required to fast from dawn to sunset, unless they fall into a few categories of fragility or difficulty. The end of the holy month is marked by the festival of Eid al-Fitr, falling this year on 25 June.