Italy: Festivals of the Family and True Love in Rome and Bergamo
By Giuseppe Cali, FFWPU Italy
Following True Mother direction we decided to organize several Family Festivals throughout the country during the all year. Taking advantage of the coming Christmas, two communities in Italy, Rome and Bergamo, decided to have the Festival on December 17th, 2017.
Our youth worked hard one day earlier to prepare the hall with decorations, to rears for the program and songs, to even prepare games for the entertainment.
To warm up the atmosphere, an STF team sang few songs and then the program started. Carmine Natale, the pastor was the MC, while Giuseppe Cali gave the introductory speech to the meaning of the Blessing. After few more songs, the Holy Wine ceremony took place, followed by the Holy Water, the Blessing prayer and the declaration of the Blessing. The forgiveness ceremony (once stick ceremony), took place by lightly hitting the partner with bare hands and then embracing each other. A very intense holy joyful atmosphere was created throughout the all program and heartfelt words of gratitude were expressed by all participants, including 7 couples and the Rome community.
After the ceremony we took group pictures and went to the restaurant in our training center to have a well prepared and abundant banquet. Songs, games and a lottery was part of the cultural event adding joy and brotherly felling to the event.
All the local 2nd gen. participated and supported the organization. Actually, they were in the main position to organize both events and have an important role in the ceremony itself. Our 2nd gen. generation in Italy is waking up very rapidly and becoming more and more involved in all activities, including the pastoral roles. Another point to mention is the Blessing of 3 couples of Ambassadors for Peace. They received Divine Principle education from me and my wife, they attended already some international meetings, including the last ICUS in Korea and now the received the Blessing. Actually, Prof. Quercia and his wife, both scientists, have such a good memory of True Mother, especially when she received them in Korea, at the ICUS, and had a cup of tea together. We are very happy about all of them and we see how much God could work in their lives, by taking care of them in many ways. We have hope now to be able to educate many more AfP and bring them to the Blessing and be active in the building of the Cheon Il Guk, by following True Parents.
On December 17, 2017 in Orio al Serio, province of Bergamo, the blessing ceremony called “Festival of the Family and True Love” was held. It was a splendid ceremony attended by a total of 90 people. The blessing was given to 9 couples and 4 widows. The leaders of the Hare Krisna community also took part. The event was of great spiritual intensity, truly the descent of the Holy Spirit was felt during the ceremony of holy wine, holy water and the subsequent prayer of blessing.
Many have cried of profound emotion. The participation of brothers and sisters made it possible to realize this event in a very official form in a beautiful auditorium, richly decorated with floral decorations made by the Japanese sisters. The choir of Bergamo played an important role in raising the spiritual atmosphere. We thank all the brothers and sisters for contributing to this unforgettable experience that we can consider a milestone for future events.