Catholic Herald Correspondent ROME THE Holy See has set up a special commission to deal with relations between the Church and Moslems. It will be made up of prelates of the Congregations for the Eastern Church and the Propagation of the Faith.
The new commission will function separately from the recently established Secretariat for NonChristians, which is directed by Cardinal Marella.
Meanwhile, from France comes a report that Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian Moslems have joined Catholics from France, Germany and Belgium in a joint ChristianMohammedan pilgrimage to the Hill of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in the Breton village of Ploilaret.
A Byzantine Rite liturgy was celebrated, during which the pilgrims prayed together in Arabic, Breton, French, Greek, Kabyle and Latin for unity of faith and peace among nations, Bishop Joseph Descufli of Izmir, Turkey, a city near the site of ancient Ephesus, sent a message of greeting and blessing to the pilgrimage organiser, Louis Massignon.
The legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus tells of a group of young Christian noblemen condemned to death by the 'Roman Emperor Deena, in the third century. The group took refuge in a cave and fell asleep. Roman soldiers found them and sealed them up in the cave burying them a The legend goes on to say that, 200 years later, when heretics were denying the resurrection of the body. the sleepers awoke. thinking they had slept one night. and were found by the people of Ephesus who looked on their awakening as proof of the Church's doctrine.
The story is contained in the Koran, the Moslem holy book. The seven have feasts in the Byzantine Calendar on August 4 and October 22. In the Roman Martyrology they arc commemorated on July 27 as S. Constantinus, Dinnysius, Joannes, Malchus, Martinianus, Maximianus and Serapion.