November 4, 2006
A mixed and colorful crowd was transformed into a family as Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., conveyed Father Moon’s message in Saint-Denis, France, on November 4, 2006. As he spoke the truth with a warm heart and love, barriers and differences in the assembly of blacks, whites and Orientals, of Jews, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.
When the speech was over, many people crowded around Stallings; people from Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist backgrounds, unanimously congratulated him, grabbed him, kissed him, “Wonderful, what a wonderful message!” Among the most frequently used adjectives were “noble”, “holy”, “divine”, “and heavenly.” Everybody had personal reasons to be proud of him and to identify with the words of God coming from his mouth. All had been made one. The Muslims felt so close to him, commenting “he is just like one of us, what a fantastic preacher he is!” No one felt excluded from the communion.
It was hoped that main event featuring Archbishop Stallings would give the participants an unforgettable experience of the divine, in which they could truly feel the presence of the living God. Part of the success of the main event was the attention given to the many other smaller events taking place the same day, led by the other 40 religious leaders from the United States. Events in the vicinity of Paris took place early afternoon, enabling the speakers at those events to attend the main event.
Prior to taking the stage, Stallings, who had arrived early that morning in Paris, had had a busy day. Among other things, he met a famous French Catholic bishop. That Stallings, a former Catholic bishop now happily married, embraced his elder brother was deeply meaningful in terms of repairing the wounded body of Christ. He was also warmly welcomed at the main mosque of Paris.
The event took place in Saint-Denis, 10 miles north of downtown Paris. The city hosts the magnificent basilica where all the French kings are buried. Pepin the short, father of Charlemagne, had been anointed in this city in 754. This ceremony had marked the beginning of the unity between Roman popes and Frank emperors, which was then the foundation for the Messiah.
Moreover, the venue of the meeting took place Avenue of President Wilson, the American president who initiated the League of Nations after World War I. Therefore, the location was fit to unite France, Europe, the United States and the world.
If the location of the venue was meaningful, the time was also significant. About one year ago, France was seriously shaken by 12 days and nights of uninterrupted riots and violence. Thousands of cars and buses were burnt, and many public buildings were destroyed by mobs of the impoverished suburbs. Part of the campaign to welcome the pastors involved visits to the cities most affected by this violence a year ago. This bore fruit. The president of a big mosque who showed a great courage to calm down violence in 2005 attended the event and was appointed an Ambassador for Peace. He also convinced the president of the National Federation of French Muslims to attend.