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Peace Education

UPF Founder Speaks in Rome

Rome, Italy - The  prestigious conference facilities of the Marriott Rome Park Hotel provided the setting for Rev. Sun Myung Moon's third major address on this world tour by the UPF Founders. On April 29, the beautiful, spacious room was filled with around a thousand people who came from all over Italy, many having traveled from cities in northern Italy early that same morning. By the time Father Moon arrived, the hall was completely full, and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and expectation.

We had no doubts about the historical importance of the event and felt Father Moon uplift the spirit of the audience, convincing them of the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the hotel technicians and staff didn’t want to miss a word of the speech and stayed until the end, later asking our staff many questions about him.

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Among the participants were about 70 Ambassadors for Peace, who brought with them many guests. Religious leaders representing Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and Buddhism offered readings and prayers expressing the essence of their religions in a most spiritual and beautiful way. A nun who had served as a missionary in poor countries for 45 years moved the audience to tears through her reading of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

Father Moon radiated love as bright as the sun on the stage. He spoke for about an hour and 45 minutes, and nobody moved from the hall until the end. I was on stage as Father and Mother Moon received a plaque with the words “The Greatest Love of All” from an Ambassador for Peace, and I cannot forget the smile that Father Moon gave as he was offering his hand to me.

"I’m grateful for this night's life-changing experience," commented Antonio Imeneo, High Commissioner of the World Parliament for Security and Peace. "Rev. Moon is a true man of God who not only preaches but also lives what he preaches."

During early morning devotions, his words emphasized the seriousness of the providential era, and he spoke about connecting with Christianity and the heart of Jesus. We received deep and important messages every day, and we could also share the intimacy of being together as a family—singing, sharing stories, and praying.

We took them on a few excursions around Rome as well. It was an honor to personally assist Father Moon in climbing some of the many steps in the historic city. We ate in a simple Italian restaurant, and I had the joy to give part of the food from my dish to him because he liked it so much. Very simple things externally were impressed deep in my heart and mind. He was always smiling, and I felt as never before that he is my father. The personal and close relationship helps us to resonate heart to heart.

"Rome has been a city of great spirituality but also often great intolerance," commented Antonio Stango, Secretary General of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Italy. "Rev. Moon’s hard work building so many organizations for peace is aimed at reaching people of all levels. Especially important is the effort he is making to build bridges between enemy countries."

We were together during a most historic weekend in Europe. God's grace was manifest April 30 at the beatification of John Paul II at the Vatican, and a member of the royal family in the United Kingdom was married on April 29. It seemed that things were coming into order in preparation for God's realm of eternal love and peace.

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