MUMBAI, India – A Catholic college president in India spoke about the Buddhist Vesak holiday, which commemorates Gautama Buddha, saying he cherishes a hope “that our multi-cultural, interfaith encounters form communities of awareness and the different religious principles and teachings that should benefit all of humanity.”

This month, Vatican published the message “Christians and Buddhists: Working together for Peace through Reconciliation and Resilience” to mark the holiday, which takes place on May 24.

“The noble teachings of our respective traditions, and the exemplary lives lived by those whom we revere, bear witness to the abundant benefits of reconciliation and resilience,” said Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.

“When forgiveness is sought, and broken relationships healed, those who were estranged are reconciled and harmony is restored. Resilience empowers individuals and communities to recover from adversity and trauma,” he continued.

“It fosters courage and hope for a brighter future, since it transforms both victims and the perpetrators and leads to a new life. Reconciliation and resilience unite to form a potent synergy that heals past wounds, forges strong bonds, and makes it possible to meet life’s challenges with fortitude and optimism,” the cardinal added.

“As taught in the rituals and worship proper to our respective religious traditions, reconciliation and resilience are thus the remedies needed for a culture of violence that is often justified as a regrettable but necessary response to aggressive military or terrorist actions. Reconciliation and resilience empower us to forgive and seek forgiveness, to love, and to be at peace with ourselves and others, even those who have wronged us,” he said.

Father Magi Murzello, the rector of St. Andrew’s College in Mumbai, India, said the document helps emphasize the “urgent and of utmost importance that different religions collaborate and work together for peace through reconciliation and resilience.”

“The Holy Father at the general audience said at ‘this time of world war’ it is a priority that we religious educators promote, spread, and enhance interfaith dialogue and intercultural education,” he told Crux.

Murzello said St. Andrew’s College – with the active patronage of Cardinal Oswald Gracias – has been in the forefront of initiatives of scholarly and grassroots levels of enhancing understanding and cooperation and promoting cultural and religious diversity.

Last year, Gracias inaugurated the two-day XXV IFSSO International Conference on “Social Media, Cyber-religion and Culture” in the presence of delegates from over 15 countries at the college.

“The International Conference is bearing results a year later – fruitful interaction continues with the participants across countries, becoming facilitators of positive dialogue, exchanging ideas, developing cooperation and understanding,” Murzello said.

“As the Vatican’s message states: Buddha imparted the timeless wisdom that hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. As Rector of St. Andrew’s, I cherish a hope that our multicultural, interfaith encounters form communities of awareness and the different religious principles and teachings that should benefit all of humanity,” he said.