Odivelas, Portugal—The 2019 UN International Day of Families was celebrated with a conference and a Peace Blessing ceremony.
The event was held on June 16, 2019, in the Exhibition Center of the city of Odivelas (near Lisbon). UPF organized the event together with its affiliated organizations Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU).
Odivelas City Hall supported the event, and the city mayor and the president of the Municipal Assembly sent their representatives.
After the mayor’s representative offered welcoming remarks, she and the representative of the Municipal Assembly president were given Ambassador for Peace certificates to bring to the officials whom they represented.
Seventy people attended, including Ambassadors for Peace, heads of UPF’s partner associations and also members of FFWPU.
After a short introductory video about the UPF vision and initiatives, UPF-Portugal President Sérgio Vieira gave a presentation about the UPF founders, focusing on their work to promote marriage and family. Through this, the audience could understand the importance of the World Peace Blessing ceremony that was to follow.
Following a short video about the Peace Blessing steps and their significance, four religious leaders—a Catholic priest, an Anglican priest, a representative of Islam, and a reverend from the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the World (Tocoist Church)—offered invocations and a Blessing prayer for all the participants, asking God to give His blessings and good fortune to the couples and families.
Liberto and Waltraud Silva, an FFWPU representative couple, officiated the ceremony. From the audience at least 20 couples received the blessing of renewing their marriage.
Seven couples who had been together 25 or 50 years were presented with a framed diploma by the national president of FFWPU, Sérgio Neto.
After a break, the second part started with WFWP President Marta Carvalho, as the moderator, introducing the four speakers: Dr. António Gentil Martins, a well-known specialist in pediatric surgery; Dr. Rijarda Aristóteles, the president of the Institute for Feminine Emotional Intelligence; Dr. Patrícia Medina, a media professional freelancer; and Professor Lígia Ferreira, a researcher in educational psychology.
Ambassador for Peace certificates were awarded to eight individuals: six from UPF and two from WFWP. They also received the founder’s autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen.
Before the conclusion, a Protocol of Partnership was signed between UPF and Platform of the Lusophone Diaspora (PISCIDIL), the association headed by Ambassador for Peace Professor Alberto Araújo.
WFWP Ambassador for Peace Isabel Leitão performed the song You Raise Me Up to close the event.
Cordial thanks to all the participants and helpers!