The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 143rd year of its course.

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Ramzan is the ninth month according to Islamic Lunar calendar. Ramzan (written as Ramadan) is derived from the Arabic root word 'ramida' or 'arramad' that means intense scorching heat and dryness, especially of the ground. Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. The fasting has great significance in Islam. Fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God.Unlike other forms of worship, the fasting is a hidden 'ibadat'. Only Allah knows  it. Fasting is linked with true faith in Allah, a practical embodiment of submission and servitude to Allah. Fasting is a protection against passions. Fasting is expiation for sins and a means to paradise. Fasting is a cause of happiness both in this life and in the hereafter. The Prophet says: the one who observes fast has two moments of (unparalleled) Joy, One when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord.

Lord Supreme, all Holy God, with the brethren of Islam, we raise our hearts on behalf of the entire humanity. Reward those who had fasted with the assured blessings. May the entire humanity realize the need for purification and do the needful so that our world becomes a better place to live in unity, brother/sisterhood and charity and above all in justice and peace.

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