37 years after the first interreligious prayer meeting strongly desired by the then Pope John Paul II in which various religious leaders from all over the world joined, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to pray for peace, on Friday 27 October the appointment of the “Spirit of Assisi”.
This year it falls precisely on the day of prayer and fasting for peace announced by Pope Francis, and in which our monastic community will join in prayer.
During our recent visit to Assisi together with Abbot Gheshe Thubten Chonyi, we monks and nuns also met Don Tonio Dell'Olio, president of the Spirit of Assisi commission, who was among the organizers of the 1986 event.
Don Tonio reminded us that "precisely from that date and that event many initiatives have arisen promoted by this commission, which is based in Assisi, with the aim of continuing on the 27th of each month in the proposal of prayer, on social issues that are gradually identified such as the environment, crises, wars, conflicts and threats to human rights.
In particular, we believe that it is important and useful to share reflections, thoughts, dialogue, and even more so to be together spiritually, each with their own languages and tradition."
Khen Rinpoche stated in his speech: “I am very happy to be here in Assisi. It is the first time that I have visited Italy and that I have had the opportunity to delve into the history of Saint Francis. He struck me a lot, because it is very similar to that of Milarepa, who was a great Tibetan saint.
I think it is really very important to meet and learn about the stories of the saints in the various religious traditions and the various prayers, because in this way mutual knowledge and respect increase and you can truly become a big family.
Different religious organizations can play an important role in promoting world peace. This is our mission."
Ven. also spoke. Massimo Stordi who recalled the meeting that took place the day before in Santa Luce, with the president of the Tuscany Region Eugenio Giani, the mayor Giamila Carli, the authorities and the Abbot. On that occasion the abbot emphasized the importance of the Monastery, which is being built, for interreligious dialogue: "Sangha Onlus is part of an international reality, which has also developed in Italy and for this reason we wanted the our Abbot could experience first-hand the reality, traditions and religious roots of this country of ours, with which Buddhism has many similarities. In fact, when at the end of the 70s the founder of the FPMT Lama Yeshe asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama where to build a monastery in the West, he suggested building it in Italy because here the people have a thousand-year-old monastic tradition and this would have facilitated the settlement and practice.”
The meeting ended with the words of the abbot: “Let us dedicate this moment of brotherhood so that we may be able to bring peace and spread this thought of love and compassion for all living beings.”
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