Together as Families
This week in history, July 24-30:
- 124 couples attend the Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony (July 24, 1963)
- The second Convention to Proclaim the Word that Firmly Establishes the True Parents is held (July 24, 2010)
- The fifth phase of the 400,000 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony takes place (July 26, 2004)
- National Parents’ Day is proclaimed (July 27, 1993)
- A Holy Ground consecration and dedication ceremony takes place (July 27, 1999)
- True Mother speaks on Capitol Hill (July 28, 1993)
- The Family Federation for World Peace is established (July 30, 1996)
July 24, 1963
Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 124 Couples
True Father noted that the 36 Couples, 72 Couples and 124 Couples “are one team which cannot be separated.” Providentially, the 124 Couples (sometimes referred to as 120 Couples) represented Jesus’ 120 disciples and signified the nations of the world. The 124 Couple Blessing was one of the conditions by which True Father undertook his first world tour, establishing 120 holy grounds throughout the world. The ceremony was conducted in a community hall and couples paraded through Seoul in a convoy of cars, thereby testifying to the growth of the church before Korean society.
July 24, 2010
Second Convention to Proclaim the Word That Firmly Establishes the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind
True Parents convened a second “Convention to Proclaim the Word That Firmly Establishes the Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind” at the Manhattan Center in New York on July 24, 2010. The first convention was conducted on July 8, 2010, at the Cheon Jeong Gung Peace Museum in Korea. The second convention, as the first, culminated a number of milestone events in 2010 including True Father’s 90th birthday, the declaration of his “last words” to humankind, establishment of a new “Heavenly Calendar” and Seonghwa “Legacy of Peace” Memorial events at the United Nations and elsewhere, True Parents’ 50th Holy Wedding anniversary, and two proclamations in Las Vegas signifying that True Parents had “achieved ultimate unity and offered and proclaimed the era of [God’s] full transcendence, full immanence, full authority and omnipotence upon the standard of perfection, completion and conclusion.” True Father boldly declared Korea to be “God’s homeland” and said that humankind was “now entering the era of the authority of God’s direct dominion.”
July 26, 2004
Fifth Phase of the 400,000 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony
At an indoor stadium not far from Sun Moon University in Asan City, near the city of Cheonan, about an hour’s drive south of Seoul, the 5th Phase of the 400,000 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony was held on July 26, 2004, for thousands of couples. The Blessing took on an added significance, as it culminated the 10th World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF). Prominent religious leaders representing various faiths of the world added their blessings to the couples. Some 300 prestigious participants of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) Assembly 2004 conference, representing 120 nations, including several former presidents, prime ministers and current heads of state, joined not only to observe but support the effort to strengthen families. Stanislaw Shushkevich, the leader of Belarus from 1991 to 1994, said in his congratulatory remarks, “All the events in the WCSF have as their goal the realization of world peace. However, it is clear that the creation of good families is the foundation for a culture of peace.”
July 27, 1993
National Parents’ Day Proclaimed
On July 27, 1993, the day before True Mother delivered her “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age” address on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution introduced by Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.) which designated July 28 as “National Parents’ Day.” The following year, President Bill Clinton signed the Congressional Resolution into law, authorizing that the last Sunday in July be recognized as “National Parents’ Day” for the purpose of “recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”
July 27, 1999
Original Holy Ground, Root Holy Ground, Victory Holy Ground Consecration and Dedication Ceremony
On July 27, 1999, at 4:18 a.m., at Hotel Americano in Brazil’s Pantanal region, True Parents led a dedication and offering ceremony of Hotel Americano as “the Original Holy Ground, Root Holy Ground and Victory Holy Ground.” In offering the space to God, True Father prayed, “We wish You to see the era of all-transcendence, omnipresence, full authority and omnipotence that can bring the voluntary surrender of the enemy, Satan, and establish the realm of Your autonomy in the universe!” In a speech ten days later, he said, “Finally we built the site that can become the Origin of Heaven.” In addition to the Jardim Training Center, he envisioned building “an airfield, a railway and a marina” so that “this place … will become a flourishing city,” greater than Venice. He described the site as being located “at the end of the earth, the very end of the earth” and called on Unificationists to visit it every four years.
July 28, 1993
True Mother Speaks on Capitol Hill
Culminating True Parents’ speaking tour of 33 U.S. cities under the theme of “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age,” True Mother spoke before an audience of U.S. senators, congressmen, their aides and other dignitaries on Capitol Hill in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 28, 1993. She was introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who acknowledged True Parents’ long suffering and personal sacrifice, commended their investment in The Washington Times, and referred to True Mother as “my friend.” In her speech, True Mother declared “the dawn of the Completed Testament Age” and “the establishment of the first True Family.”
July 30, 1996
Establishment of the Family Federation for World Peace
The inauguration of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification took place in Washington, D.C.
True Parents convened the Inaugural World Convention of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) before 400 delegates and over a thousand participants at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., from July 30 to August 1, 1996. This was the Unification movement’s most spectacular federation launch and included an astounding list of dignitaries: two former U.S. presidents of the United States, Gerald Ford and George Bush; former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias; former Prime Ministers Edward Heath of Great Britain and Brian Mulroney of Canada; thirty-six one-time heads of state or governments; university presidents including Boston University’s John Silber; Christian television personality Robert Schuller; Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed; Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr.; Maureen Reagan, the daughter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan; well-known comedian Bill Cosby; and Christian singer-actor Pat Boone. In addition, the main proceedings were covered live by C-SPAN television network.
True Mother delivered an opening plenary speech on the “View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation,” and True Father spoke on the theme “In Search of the Origin of the Universe” at the convention’s closing banquet. Externally, FFWPU was a high-level forum for world leaders and scholars to address issues related to the family. Internally, it marked a further stage in the movement’s development beyond salvation of the individual to salvation of the family.
This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This installment covers the week of July 24 to 30.