Greetings to all of my sisters and brothers of the Muslim faith tradition as you begin the celebration of Eid al-Fitr! I wish to offer a greeting of peace and my congratulations on the conclusion of your month long vigil of fasting, prayer, and works of mercy.
In 1985, Pope John Paul II visited Belgium and addressed Muslim leaders. There he said, “As Christians and Muslims, we encounter one another in faith in the one God, our Creator and guide, our just and merciful judge. In our daily lives we strive to put into practice God’s will according to the teaching of our respective Scriptures. We believe that God transcends our thoughts and our universe and that his loving presence accompanies us throughout each day.”
I share the sentiments he offered 35 years ago with deep respect and friendship. In addition, I offer you my prayerful wishes during this time of celebration. For Pope John Paul II continued, “In prayer, we place ourselves in the presence of God to offer him our worship and thanksgiving, to ask forgiveness for our faults, and to seek his help and blessing.”
The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has suddenly and dramatically impacted our lives and our communities. Life as we understand it has temporarily changed, but this too shall pass. Our friendship bears great fruit during this time of uncertainty. Together as a united human family, we are people whose hearts are grounded in faith and hope.
May your lives bring joy to all those around you.
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
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