For several days now the application iBreviary “pro Terra Sancta” has been available for downloading in an updated version offering new services for users and with the addition of Arabic, Turkish and Portuguese (alongside the existing Italian, French, Spanish, German, English and Latin).
iBreviary pro Terra Sancta was created in 2008 by Fr. Paolo Padrini and a staff of young Italian programmers. The application, promoted by the Custody of the Holy Land and ATS pro Terra Sancta, offers a free service to Christian people throughout the world supporting them in their daily prayer and reading of all the Sacred Texts.
By means of iBreviary pro Terra Sancta everyone can unite in prayer for the Land of Jesus that is afflicted by conflicts, disputes and serious economic difficulties.
By clicking on the logo ATS pro Terra Sancta you can make a donation and in this way support and share with the Franciscan friars in the great task entrusted to them by the Universal Church of safeguarding the Holy Places and aiding the Christian communities in difficulty to continue living in the countries of the Middle East, where Christianity began.
Pope Francis himself has asked for the Gospel to be spread by all possible means, including telephones and tablets. This application fully satisfies this request by using that which for the Christian world is the most precious: prayer.
Of considerable importance is the fact that the application is now also available in Arabic, providing a means for putting Catholic prayer on cell phones of thousands of Catholics who live in countries with Islamic majorities in which religious freedom frequently does not exist (such as in Syria where the Custody of the Holy Land and ATS pro Terra Sancta are very active).
As Fr. Paolo Padrini has emphasized, this “is the first application in the world to offer the official prayer of the Catholic Church (the Breviary) in Arabic.” There are countries where the Sacred Texts, the official Catholic prayer and all the texts for celebrating Holy Mass cannot be purchased and where it is not possible (and is frequently illegal) for the faithful to carry these with them.
Thanks to this application ATS pro Terra Sancta has circumvented the censorship of many countries, creating a tool for identity and spiritual support for Christians. A tool for religious freedom and also a vehicle for peace and coexistence. Tommaso Saltini, Director of ATS pro Terra Sancta, has noted that “iBreviary is a strong sign of coexistence while also providing a door for religious freedom. Not only that which is preached openly but also in a concrete sense, lived above all through prayer. I truly believe it will provide a useful service for all of the Arabic-speaking faithful, and I hope that it will be seen as a sign of peace and liberty.”
The new version in Arabic (as well as in Portuguese and Turkish) is already available on iPhone, and will shortly be available on iPad and Android as well. It has proved to be very popular not only among the faithful but also among priests, bishops and even cardinals.
WHAT THE APPLICATION OFFERS
iBreviary is the first application in the world designed for cell phones (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone 7) and tablets for reading all the prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours and the texts of the Holy Mass in 9 languages.
In addition, it enables one to celebrate the Saints of the Holy Land and to learn about the celebrations taking place in this land, as well as to learn about the activities of the Franciscans of the Holy Land and support their activities and projects.
Already spread throughout the world, it offers a surprising number of weekly downloads: more than 3,000, not counting the thousands of sites that host the widget, also permitting online prayer. Over the past few years it has been downloaded by more than 2 million people, becoming the most widely used application in the world by those of the Catholic faith.
The major American blog aggregator About.com named it one of the 5 most influential applications in the Catholic world.