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A Pair of Awards for Spiritual & Humanitarian Work of Amma Mark the Start of Mata Amritanandamayi’s 30th Anniversary Tour of Europe

November 13, 2017

2017-11-07--Soldiers of Peace Award1 (1)

● In a formal ceremony in Toulon, France, Amma received the Commemorative Gold Medal for Peace by the Soldiers of Peace International Association.

● On the same night, Amma also received the “Medal of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region” from Regional Council of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region.

NOVEMBER 8, 2017: Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s 30th Anniversary Tour Europe commenced with Amma being presented two awards for her lifetime of work as a spiritual leader and humanitarian. The awards, which were presented as part of a formal programme at the Zenith-Omega Arena in Toulon, France, came from the “Soldiers of Peace International Association” and from the Regional Council of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region, one of the largest of France’s 13 metropolitan administrative regions.

The Soldiers of Peace International Associationpresented Amma with its “Commemorative Gold Medal for Peace.” The organisation’s President, Laurent Attar-Bayrou, addressed the thousands of people assembled. “As military men coming from different countries, we have fought, arms in hand, for the sake of peace, under the Blue Helmet of the United Nations. We affirm today that lasting peace comes only from the hearts and the minds of men. Those who are fighting with you Amma have understood this; we as well. Your fight, Amma, is our fight. Amma, you give meaning to life, allowing hope for those who have nothing. This hope is the very essence of humanity. With you and through your example and joy, the poor discover fulfilment and the rich gain humility. Fully dedicated to your mission, you shake the walls of indifference. On this earth, you sow hope. From this water, you draw love. From these skies, you make hearts blossom and shine.”

2017-11-07--Soldiers of Peace Award2 (1)Before presenting Amma with the award, Laurent Attar-Bayrou, said, “We, Blue Helmets, gathered in this NGO for the promotion of peace, are not pacifists or warmongers, but practical men. We gather for the sake of conflict resolution, human rights, education and sports. We recognise our mission in yours. You are also a Soldier of Peace, and we will walk with you in your quest for love.”

The second award was presented by Monique Robineau, Delegate of the President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region. “It is an immense pleasure for me to be here tonight with you Amma, and to offer you the Medal of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region, on behalf of its President, Mr Renaud Muselier.”

Monique Robineau added, “Yourdarshan has enabled me to see how you can clear the tears of all these people and provide hope, through the love that you give in your embrace. We are very proud of welcoming you once more on our land, that you have filled and brightened with all your love. In this world shattered by conflicts and crisis leading to insularity and paralysis, your message and embrace bring hope to our hearts and light to our spirits. The people present here tonight benefit from your presence, but also many others, since your presence shines in our whole region.”

Presenting Amma with the medal “with all the gratitude, respect and love of this land and its inhabitants,” Monique Robineau said, “This is for all the work that you have done for the lives of so many people. You are the Ambassador of Love and Peace in the world.”

Amma’s arrival in Europe at the beginning of the month marked the commencement of her 30th anniversary tour of Europe. “Amma was first invited to Europe in 1987, and she has come every year since,” said Swami Amritaswarupananda, the Vice President of Mata Amritanandamayi Math. “After that first invitation came, Amma told us, ‘My children are not just in India but throughout the world. They are crying for Amma, but cannot find me. So, I must go to them.’ The rest is history.”

2017-11-07--Regional Government Award (1)Amma’s 30th Anniversary Europe Tour will continue throughout November. Each of its stops finds Amma leading attendees in guided meditation, devotional singing and prayers for world peace. Each programme also includes a spiritual talk by Amma, wherein she offers practical solutions for personal fulfilment, as well as guidance on how society can face the most pressing challenges of our time. Programme attendees also get the opportunity to receive Amma’s darshan—a spiritual blessing in the form of a motherly embrace.

The Europe Tour includes stops in Frankfurt, Germany; Toulon, France; Winterthur, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; London, United Kingdom; Munich, Germany; Châlons-en-Champagne, France; Houten, Netherlands; and Helsinki, Finland, and concludes on December 6th in Valencia, Spain. All programmes are free and open to the public.

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)
Amma has delivered addresses at the United Nations several times and has spoken twice at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Among other accolades, she has received the Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence in Geneva, the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award in New York, and an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York. In 2014, at the invitation of His Holiness Pope Francis, Amma was one of 12 religious and spiritual leaders to travel to the Vatican to sign a joint declaration against modern slavery. Throughout her life, Amma has embraced and comforted more than 3.7 crore people. When asked where she gets the energy to help so many people while also building and running a massive humanitarian organization, Amma answers: “Where there is true love, everything is effortless. Love transforms.”

For more information: www.amritapuri.org

The Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Amma’s organization exists to help alleviate the burden of the poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs—food, shelter, healthcare, education, and livelihood—wherever and whenever possible. MAM is especially focused on helping to meet these needs in the aftermath of major disasters. To date, MAM has provided totally free medical care to more than 43 lakh people. It has built more than 47,000 homes for the homeless throughout India and has provided financial aid for more than one lakh people unable to care for themselves. MAM is also providing educational assistance to 50,000 students. Moreover it is offering vocational-training, literacy-training, running orphanages, hospices, old-age homes, scholarship programs, planting trees and managing environmental-protection programs. MAM has done massive relief-and-rehabilitation work following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as in response to flooding in Mumbai, Gujarat, Chennai and Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jammu-Kashmir, as well as in response to earthquakes in Kashmir, Nepal, Haiti and Japan, cyclones in West Bengal and the Philippines, and hurricanes in the United States.

For more information: www.amritapuri.org

About Soldiers of Peace International Association (Association Internationale des Soldats de la Paix)

The Soldiers of Peace International Association (SPIA) is an international NGO founded on November 1988. The SPIA has been endowed with consultative status within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) since 1995. This organisation, which includes blue helmets, or soldiers of peace, is based in Lyon, France, with offices worldwide. It presently counts close to 50,000 members in 58 countries. Its fields of action are: control of military conflicts aiming at the reinforcement of peace; antipersonnel mines clearance; consultative status at the ECOSOC since 1995; human rights; and humanitarian activities including the health, sports and peace programme (AIACPI). SPIA has been members of the French Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CPI) since 2009.

For more information: http://www.aisp.fr/?lang=en

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