«Connect the pursuit of happiness with the desire to build a better history»

Press Meeting

The Meeting opens with President Mattarella’s message

Rimini, Saturday August 18th – At the opening of the XXXIX Meeting for Friendship among Peoples, which will take place in the Rimini Fair from Sunday August 19th-25th, the message of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella collects the challenges contained in the title of the Meeting «The forces that move history are the same ones that make man happy», waiting for the message that Pope Francis is sending through Secretary of State Pietro Parolin that will be read on Sunday August 19th at the beginning of the Holy Mass at 11.30 am that will be celebrated by the bishop of Rimini Francesco Lambiasi in the Fiera Intesa Sanpaolo A3 Auditorium.

Mattarella himself speaks of the challenges: «Connecting the pursuit of happiness with the desire to build a better history us and others is a great challenge for humanity». The president also mentions that these are the challenges of the Meeting as well «the desire to meet each other and to build together even though there are differences».

«It is a revolutionary affirmation that dominates the Meeting this year and that President Mattarella has taken as an important point», says the president of Meeting for Friendship among the Peoples Emilia Guarnieri, «because in a context where it seems reactivity and protest prevail, we place happy man as the subject of change. “Felice” is an almost incongruous adjective now, what can be a real factor for social cohesion and growth is a man with self-realization who looks at others with sympathy and not resentment».

The message of president Mattarella is to invite us to recognize diversity as a value. «It is from the awareness that each one, with his beliefs and convictions, enriches our humanity», writes the Head of State, «that the possibility of making the world truly human is born». This is also the goal and experience of this meeting.

The message coming from the Colle this year is also joined by the UN Secretary General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres. «The Meeting for Friendship among the Peoples of Rimini has given the opportunity to people of different faiths and cultures to renew their commitment to building peace and friendship, since 1980. It is the spirit that we need, today more than ever», are his words, «conflicts flare up in many parts of the world. Xenophobia and racism are increasing phenomena in some countries and regions. The Rimini Meeting, which brings together people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds is a welcome antidote to all this». Guterres’ focuses on young people in his message: «Empowering young people is one of the most important investments we can make to prevent conflicts and build a culture of peace».

Meanwhile, on Sunday August 19th at 3 pm the inaugural event of the Meeting (after the morning Mass which is celebrated by the bishop of Rimini Francesco Lambiasi) will be a meeting with the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Christophe Pierre, about the title of the Meeting. Monsignor Pierre will speak at the Intesa Sanpaolo A3 Auditorium after the introduction of President Guarnieri.

On Sunday, August 19th at 9:45 pm there will be a unique event that takes us to the very heart of the Meeting: on the Piazzetta on the water at the Tiberius Bridge will be represented “Through the sea of desire“, freely taken from “The satin slipper”, masterpiece of the French writer and diplomat Paul Claudel celebrating his the 150th birthday (1868-1955), in collaboration with the Malatesta Music Festival and the Puglia Region and with the patronage of the Société Paul Claudel. Tickets can be purchased at the fair and at the event venue from 5pm on Sunday.