Portugal: International Day of Families
By Sérgio Neto, FFWPU Portugal
On June 16, 2019, the UN International Day of Families was celebrated by UPF Portugal (jointly organized by WFWP and FFWPU), at the Exhibition Center of Odivelas City (near Lisbon), with a thematic Conference that was followed by a Peace Blessing ceremony.
The total number of participants was 78 people, including various guests, Ambassadors for Peace, UPF and WFWP representatives and also members from FFWPU.
The event also had the support of the Town hall of Odivelas, and received its Councilor who came on behalf of the Mayor and also a representative of the President of the Municipal Assembly.
After a short introduction video about the UPF vision and initiatives, it was explained how the founders’ life’s work has stressed the value of marriage and family for the individual as well as for society, therefore preparing the audience for the importance of the blessing ceremony.
Followed by a short video about the Peace Blessing steps, the four invited Religious Leaders: a Catholic Priest, an Anglican Priest, an Islamic representative and a Rev. from the Tocoist Church; made their invocations and offered a blessing prayer for all the participants asking God for His blessings and good fortune for all the couples and families.
The Blessing was started by a FFWPU representative couple, and from the audience at least 20 couples received the blessing of renewing their marriage. There was also a Moment of Recognition of seven Couples with 25 and 50+ years of Marriage/Relationship and each of these couple was presented with a framed diploma.
The event also awarded a total of 8 new Peace Ambassadors present at the event, receiving also the founder`s autobiography “As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen”.