It was with the touching embrace between Monsignor Pierino Gelmini (Don Pierino) and Swami Roberto that the celebration of “Bread, mortadella (bologna sausage) and apple” began for us this year too.
Don Pierino personally invited Anima Universale to the historical feast – which takes place every year on 27th September in Mulino Silla – to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Mother House of Comunità Incontro (Meeting Community).
This time the usual “Madonna del Sorriso” (Madonna of Smile) prize ceremony was enriched by the attribution of meaningful awards to those who have especially supported Don Pierino’s great work.
Don Pierino also wished to give this award to Swami Roberto, Founder of Universal Soul, accompanied at Mulino Silla by Ramia Osvaldo Ristuccia, President of Universal Soul, and by the ramirian monks Ramia Massimo II, Ramia Mauro, Ramia Riccardo, Ramia Roberto I and Ramia Roberto II.
In the Chimney Room, where the fire “which enlightens, warms and aggregates” has been burning uninterruptedly for 28 years, Don Pierino wished to enjoy the company of his dearest friends over lunch. Swami Roberto sat at Don Pierino’s table (above photograph) together with General Roberto Speciale and General Walter Cretella of the Italian Tributary Police, H.E. Monsignor Isidore Battikha and Father Bernard.
In the afternoon more than two thousand people joined the youth of Comunità Incontro in Mulino Silla’s wide auditorium to attend the ceremony, conducted by Don Enzo and Father Bernard.
Together with Don Pierino and all of the priests who collaborate with him there were also religious, civil and military authorities, among whom we remember: H.E. Mgr Gualdrini, H.E. Mgr. Capucci (Bishop of Jerusalem) and the Chairman of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State Mgr. Giovanni D’Ercole; Senator Baccini (Vice President of the Italian Senate), Honourable Meloni (Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy), Senators Selva and Saporito, Honourables Buttiglione, Giovanardi, Gasparri, D’Onofrio, Cutrufo, Mazzocchi, Bartolini, Carlo Ripa di Meana with his wife Mrs Marina and Prof. Talamonti. Among the artists we remember pop singers Aleandro Baldi and Amedeo Minghi, and songwriter Mogol.
Don Enzo introduced Swami Roberto by saying that: “Roberto Casarin, Founder of Universal Soul, is the representative of an organization very close to Comunità Incontro: not only friends from an inner point of view, but also because they gave us the Centre at Bene Vagienna (a small town near Cuneo, Italy), in which our community is present now”.
Swami Roberto was given the important prize by His Excellence Mgr Isidore Battikha, Metropolitan Archbishop of the central Syria. In 2001 Mgr Battikha organized the difficult apostolic journey to Syria of H.H. John Paul II and welcomed him to the Diocese of Damascus. That was one of the most important journeys of Pope Karol Wojtyla because – also thanks to the wise diplomatic work of Mgr Battikha – marked the opening to Islam.
H.E. Mgr Battikha kissed twice the precious medal and expressed with emotion all of his affection and esteem for Universal Soul’s work.
Together with Swami Roberto a prize for their friendship and cooperation with Comunità Incontro was also given to General Roberto Speciale and General Walter Cretella of the Italian Tributary Police (in the photograph), the Italian Consul to Bolivia, the Mayor of Amelia; Prof. Alessandro Meluzzi, Prof. Vincenzo Di Marzo, Prof. Francesco De Lorenzo; the artists Amedeo Minghi, Aleandro Baldi and our friend the actor Pippo Franco. The prestigious prize was also given to several cooperators and coordinators of Comunità Incontro.
Don Pierino, during his touching final speech, narrated in an amusing way a providential implication of his first meeting with Swami Roberto and Universal Soul for the Centre of Bene Vagienna.
This day so important to Don Pierino, Mulino Silla and Universal Soul, ended with the same hug with which is began. We keep in our hearts the warm, paternal greeting from Don Pierino that we also extend to all of you of Universal Soul: “I love you! I love you! I love you!.
Anima Universale with Comunità Incontro: