Rome - 13 October 2004 for SSpS and SVD Mission Secretaries and Mission Animators

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Markus Solo (OES), currently a student of Islam at the Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d’Islamistica (PISAI) in Rome, prepared the following reflections. You can contact him at


Ramadan, a time of fasting for Muslims, starts in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The first day of fasting for this year is about October 15, 2004. The precise day can vary from place to place because of differences between the solar and lunar calendars.

Fasting is one of the principal obligations in Islam. The Quran says:

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint... Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting... (Quran, Surah 2, al-Baqarah, Verses 183,185).

From sunrise till sunset, that is, from morning prayer until evening prayer, it is forbidden to eat or drink anything. Those who fast must not commit any sin before Allah and they should avoid every kind of sexual act until the time of iftar, the communal supper to break the fast.

Ramadan is a time to promote equality in society and to declare Muslim solidarity with the poor. The pangs of hunger are said to to remind the rich of the plight of the poor. It is also a month for reflection, prayer and purification, a time of friendship and brotherhood. But above all, Ramadan is time to remember the holy month in which God revealed the Quran through the archangel Gabriel on the Night of Power, Lailat al-Qadri, on the 27th of the month, as it is written:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Surely We revealed it (the Quran) on the grand night. And what will make you comprehend what the grand night (is)? The grand night is better than a thousand months. The angels and Gibreel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair. Peace! it is till the break of the morning (Quran, Surah 97, al-Qadr).

The festival of Eid al-Fitr, the festival of fast breaking, marks the end of Ramadan. This year it will be around the 12th November.

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Is Islam really a religion of the sword, rather than a religion of peace? Surely, the events since September 11, 2001 have caused many people to become more pessimistic about peace in the world. They view opportunities for interreligious dialogue with skeptical eyes.

Can we SVDs and SSpS do anything? Centuries ago, Marcus Aurelius insisted that "Peace starts with you." Motivated by our missionary charism, we are challenged to give a sign of world peace during Ramadan: we can pray with all Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, and we can animate others do do the same. We do so with faith in the words of Jesus who assured us that prayer can move mountains.

The Islamic tradition says that Muhammad used to say a special prayer for peace that goes:

God, you are Peace, Peace comes from You, Peace returns to You. Grant us, God, to live in peace and to enter the place of peace. Blessed are You, our Lord and the Most High, the God of splendor and mercy.

Jesus Christ's gift to us is his peace and at every Eucharist we pray that Christian communities may be signs of the peace of the Reign of God. So during this season of fasting, let us pray together with the Prophet, Muhammad and all Muslims who long for peace.

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The following prayer is adapted from an ecumenical prayer for peace prepared by Hermann Schalück ofm, the president of Missio-Aachen.

O Lord of Mercy,
The entire universe,
The heavens, the earth and all its inhabitants,
All nations, cultures and religions
Tell of Your name.
From the depths of human existence
Comes a desire that only You can fulfill:
Your name, Lord, is Life and Peace,
Shalom and Salaam.

With all who know this name
We ask for peace for those who are near
We ask for peace for those who are far (Is 57,19).
For peace in all hearts,
For peace in all tents, houses and palaces.
For peace among all religions and cultures.
For peace upon all of creation
As it labors to give birth (Rom 8,22).

Your name, Lord, is Life and Peace,
Shalom and Salaam.
Show Yourself to all peoples,
May your name be known and praised.
Make us all instruments of Your peace. Amen.

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La siguiente oración es una adaptación de una oración ecuménica por la paz escrita por Hermann Schalück ofm, presidente de Missio-Aachen.

Oh Señor de Misericordia,
el universo entero,
el firmamento, la tierra y todos sus habitantes;
todas las naciones, culturas y religiones
invocan Tu nombre.
Desde lo profundo de nuestra existencia humana
brota un deseo que sólo Tú puedes cumplir:
Tu nombre, Señor es Vida y Paz,
Shalom y Salaam.

Con todos los que conocemos este nombre,
pedimos por la paz a los de cerca,
pedimos por la paz a los de lejos (Is 57,19);
paz en todos los corazones,
paz en todas las tiendas, casas y palacios,
paz entre religiones y culturas,
paz en toda la creación
que gime con dolores de parto (Rom 8,22).

Tu nombre, Oh Señor, es Vida y Paz,
Shalom y Salaam.
¡Manifiéstate a todos los pueblos!
¡Qué tu nombre sea conocido y glorificado!
¡Haznos instrumentos de tu paz! Amen

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5. SCHALOM und SALAAM - Deutsch

Das folgende ökumenische Gebet von P. Hermann Schalück ofm verfasst, aber in der vorliegenden Form ein wenig verändert.

Barmherziger Gott,
das gesamte Universum,
die Himmel, die Erde und all ihre Bewohner,
alle ihre Völker, Kulturen und Religionen
erzählen von deinem Namen.
Aus der Tiefe der menschlichen Existenz
steigt eine Sehnsucht auf, die nur du erfüllen kannst.
Dein Name, Herr, ist Leben und Friede,
Schalom und Salaam.

Mit allen, die diesen Namen kennen,
bitten wir um Frieden für die Nahen
und um Frieden für die Fernen (Jes.57,19).
Um Frieden in den Herzen,
Frieden in allen Zelten, Häusern und Palästen.
Um Frieden zwischen den Religionen und Kulturen.
Um Frieden für die Schöpfung, die seufzt (Röm 8,22).

Dein Name, Herr, ist Leben und Friede,
Schalom und Salaam.
Zeige allen, wer du in Wahrheit bist.
Dein Name soll erkannt und gepriesen werden.
Mache uns alle zu Werkzeugen Deines Friedens. Amen.

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Doa berikut ini diambil dari sebuah doa ekumenis untuk perdamaian yang ditulis oleh Hermann Schalück ofm, Direktur Missio-Aachen dan diubah sesuai kebutuhan.

Oh Tuhan, Maharahim,
Seluruh alam semesta,
segala langit, bumi dan para penghuninya,
segala bangsa, budaya dan agama
mewartakan namaMu.
Engkaulah Pemenuh segala kerinduan anak manusia
yang terbersit dari kedalaman eksistensinya.
NamaMu oh Tuhan, adalah Hidup, Damai,
Shalom dan Salaam.

Bersama semua yang mengenal nama ini,
kami memohon damai bagi mereka yang dekat,
kami meminta damai bagi mereka yang jauh (Yes 57;19).
Curahkanlah damai dalam hati segenap manusia,
damai dalam kemah-kemah, rumah-rumah dan istana-istana.
Juga damai bagi lingkungan hidup kami
yang sama-sama mengeluh dan merasa sakit bersalin (Rom 8; 22).

NamaMu oh Tuhan, adalah Hidup, Damai,
Shalom dan Salaam.
Tunjukanlah diriMu kepada semua orang,
semoga namaMu dikenal dan dipuji.
Jadikanlah kami alat-alat perdamaianMu. Amen.

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La seguente preghiera è tratta da una preghiera ecuménica per la pace composta da Hermann Schalück ofm, il presidente de Missio - Aachen.

O Signore Misericordioso,
L’intero universo,
I cieli, la terra e tutti i suoi abitanti,
Tutte le nazioni, culture e religioni
Invocano il Tuo nome.
Dalle profondità dell’umana esistenza
Viene un desiderio che solo Tu puoi colmare:
Il Tuo nome, Signore, è Vita e Pace,
Shalom e Salaam.

Insieme a tutti quelli che conoscono il tuo nome
Chiediamo pace per quelli che ci sono vicini
e pace per quelli che ci sono lontani (Is 57, 19).
Pace in tutti i cuori,
Pace in tutte le tende, le case e i palazzi.
Pace tra tutte le religioni e culture.
Pace su tutto il creato
Che fatica per dare la vita (Rm 8, 22).

Il Tuo nome, Signore, è Vita e Pace,
Shalom e Salaam.
Mostrati a tutte le genti,
Possa il Tuo nome essere conosciuto e lodato.
Rendici tutti strumenti della Tua pace. Amen

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Items for the SVD/SSpS Mission Animation Bulletin Board can be sent to:

Tom Ascheman SVD

Mary John K. SSpS

SVD Generalate Mission Secretary

SSpS Generalate Mission Secretary