Italy: Interreligious Cosmic Blessing
By Maria Gabriella Mieli, FFWPU Italy
Place: Monastery of San Biagio – Mondovì Date: 27 August 2017
On August 27th, 2017, we organized a Blessing Ceremony at Monastery of San Biagio – Mondovì for 3 couples, parents of our members (1 couple and 2 widows):
- Laura and Alberto Mieli (88 and 85 years old) parents of Maria Gabriella Mieli, the community leader
- Anna and Natale Ambrosoli (wife: 84 years old, the husband in the spirit world) parents-in-law of the community leader
- Lucia and Francesco Romano (wife: 90 years old, the husband in the spirit world) Parents of a member.
We decided to celebrate the Blessing Ceremony just one week before the event, thanks to the sudden opportunity to have all 3 couples together in Turin, and in consideration of their age and health conditions.
The 3 couples have a catholic background, and we thought a lot about how to organize the ceremony in a very short time, with few people to help as staff, and without a deep preparation of the candidates. But we did have a strong desire and determination, and made special conditions to open the way for our beloved parents. Some parents in the past have hindered or persecuted our movement and members, including their sons and daughters: we felt all this had to be overcome and forgotten.
We had an inspiration to call one of our Ambassadors for Peace, Paolo Incontri. He is a Buddhist Monk and recently moved to live at the Monastery of San Biagio that hosts an interfaith community of Catholic nuns and Buddhist monks. We hoped to have a chance to hold the Blessing at this very special place, that was founded as a religious order in 1014, May 14th. We were pleased to receive confirmation from him and from Sister Clelia, the Dominican nun who is in charge of the monastery. They both eagerly offered to pray for the brides and bridegrooms.
It was an intimate, heartfelt ceremony prepared from our hearts, that we could celebrate in the chapel of the monastery, at the presence of about 30 people (21 members and 9 guests).
We introduced the ceremony as a renewal of their commitment and re-dedication of their marriages – remembering their 60, 63, and 67 years of marriage.
We performed the Holy Wine Ceremony and, before the Holy Water Ceremony, Sister Clelia offered a Catholic benediction prayer and Paolo Incontri gave a special Buddhist blessing with the Relics of the Buddha. All other parts of the ceremony followed, including a touching ceremony to remove resentments .
The audience was moved many times during the ceremony.
With this ceremony the community leaders have now 3 generations blessed (their parents, themselves and one of their sons. All of them are part of the 1st generation Blessing.
Furthermore, on the same day we organized a Ceremony of Grace for one of our eldelrly mothers, who could not attend before this date because of health reasons; it truly was a special time, she is 81 and lives quite near the monastery.
We concluded with cutting the cake and taking pictures. The brides appreciated very much the flower bouquets that were prepared for them.
The nuns and their staff prepared a special luncheon, with healthy food prepared with the vegetables from their garden, while Family Federation members offered juices and biscuits.
We are truly grateful to our Heavenly Parents and our beloved True Parents. We could taste a glimpse of the Cheon il Guk as “One Family under God”.