“The true measure of civilization of any society is the way it treats its most vulnerable members”. This is according to a message sent by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to all Hindus, entitled: “Christians and Hindus: in Defence of the Vulnerable of Society”. The message, signed by the secretary of the Pontifical Dicastery, Mgr. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, was also sent in Hindi language to mark the feast of Diwali, which is celebrated by all Hindus and is known as the feast of Deepavali, meaning “row of oil lamps”. Symbolically rooted in ancient mythology, it represents the triumph of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The celebration itself lasts three days and marks the beginning of a new year, family reconciliation, especially between brothers and sisters, and adoration of God. The festival this year will be celebrated by many Hindus on 7 November. “Attentiveness and cooperation – the message reads – are needed, not only to defend the legitimate place and rights of the vulnerable in society, but also to cultivate a culture of care and concern in their regard”. “In our families too, every effort should be made to ensure that no one feels unwanted, unloved, ignored or left out”. “Every level of society – especially political and government leaders, and those best equipped to provide practical assistance – needs to display a human face and heart to the vulnerable of our society and to reach out to all those suffering marginalization and oppression”. “Such generosity should not appear as a token gesture, but as one divinely inspired and aimed at the true emancipation and welfare of the vulnerable and the defence of their cause”. Hence the invitation: “As believers grounded in our own respective spiritual traditions, and as individuals with shared concerns for the wellbeing of all, may we join hands with the adherents of other religious traditions and all people of good will, and make collective and concerted efforts to secure a joyful present and a hopeful future for our vulnerable brothers and sisters!”. “We know from news bulletins and web portals, as well as from direct experience, the daily hardships endured by the vulnerable members of our society”, Mgr. Ayuso wrote: “the poor, infirm, elderly, disabled, destitute, abandoned, migrants; those socially, religiously, culturally and linguistically marginalized and excluded; and the victims of abuse and violence, especially women and children” whom we shall “protect and assist” by “doing all that we can to alleviate their sufferings, defend their rights and restore their dignity”.