Pope reaches out to Muslims in Eid message
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis reached out to Muslims on Sunday to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and called on them and Christians to promote mutual respect.
"I want to send a hello to Muslims around the world, our brothers, who a short time ago celebrated the conclusion of the month of Ramadan," the pontiff said in front of thousands of the faithful gathered for his Angelus blessing in St Peter's Square.
"I hope that Christians and Muslims engage to promote mutual respect, especially through the education of new generations," he said.
It was the pope's second message to Muslim communities recently.
On August 2, Francis sent a text "as an expression of esteem and friendship to all Muslims, especially their religious leaders".
In his text, he also called on both religions to "avoid unjustified or defamatory criticism" of each other.
The pontiff on Sunday also addressed Catholics, exhorting them to "love of God", who has "a name, and a face; he is called Jesus Christ", he said departing from his prepared script.
"That is the love which gives value and beauty to everything: the family, work, study, friendship, the arts and every human activity," he said to the cheers of the faithful.
Just before taking leave of the crowd, Francis gave his now traditional farewell of "good Sunday and a good appetite" before adding a "goodbye" as if he wanted to linger a little longer.