Arabic version of iBreviary launched to help Christians bypass censorship

iBreviary, one of the world’s leading apps providing the texts for the Liturgy of the Hours (or Divine Office), added a new language to its offerings this week: Arabic. That may seem to be a benign gesture. It isn’t. Consider that parts of the Islamic world have banned the printed versions of this form of prayer. The developer of iBreviary, Father Paolo Padrini, says he is meeting the challenge of this censorship by offering a means for Arab-speaking Christians in those regions to read the texts on an iPhone. This is a significant and bold move in the Catholic app world as a gesture of love.


Screen shot of Arabic version of Vespers prayer in iBreviary app. Initial launch of this version is only on iPhone platform. iPad and Android versions forthcoming, according to the app’s developer.

From the Telegraph (UK) 14 April 2014:

“Now, with the launch of the Arabic version, the app can be used in those Muslim countries where the breviary [Liturgy of the Hours] is banned from sale and where, in some countries, you cannot legally even possess one,” said Father Padrini.

The app for iPhones is free and the Arabic is produced by volunteer translators, he said. The iPad version will be available in three weeks and the Android version by the summer.

Father Padrini said assisting Christian congregations in Muslim countries was increasingly important as priests suffer persecution and violent attacks.

“The Catholic who prays in Arabic is a symbol of religious coexistence and peace,” he said. “I hope that the app is seen as a peaceful and not as a hostile gesture. And I hope it is not censored.”

Read complete story here.

Keep in mind, iBreviary offers more than just the Liturgy of the Hours. This powerful app also contains the complete text of the Roman Missal, now in Arabic–a bit of an anomaly as the language is typically used in other Rites, is it not?

We pray for Father Padrini’s ministry and those in regions of the world who pray using these texts under threatening circumstances.

Jennifer Kane
editor, Catholic Apptitude

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Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website,, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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3 Comments on “Arabic version of iBreviary launched to help Christians bypass censorship”

  1. July 3, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    This is great. Do you know where I can get a hold of this app? I want to link it to my blog Roman Catholic Mission Somalia. I tried the iBreviary website but could not find the Arabic version. God bless

    • July 3, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      Thank you for your question. Once you download iBreviary, it is very simple to change the language settings. On your device, go to the home screen and touch the colored language circle. That opens the language menu. Select a language to download. Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions. God bless you in your mission work! You have a beautiful blog.

  2. j khoury
    February 25, 2022 at 11:10 am #

    we live in the ME. don’t know of any such problem re Catholic or Orthodox prayer books. Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq…

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