Part VII — Pilgrim of Peace Award presentation, Rome

[On 23 February 1998, Sri Chinmoy was advised by Mr Gianfranco Costa, President of the International Centre for Peace Among People (Assisi, Italy) that he had been selected as the 1998 recipient of the international “Pilgrim of Peace” award for the “international significance of your activities for a culture of peace”. The first recipient of this prestigious award was President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1988). Other recipients include United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, His Holiness Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. At Sri Chinmoy’s request, the award ceremony was held in Rome on 16 May 1998, two days prior to Pope John Paul II’s 78th birthday, as a special birthday offering to the Pope. The ceremony was held on 16 May 1998 at the Galleria Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy; and was attended by many distinguished international ambassadors and Italian representatives.]

"Pilgrim of Peace" award presentation12

Mr. Gianfranco Costa, President, International Centre for Peace Among People, Assisi [translated from Italian and abridged]: Kindest ladies and gentlemen, good evening. I am offering to you all the greetings of the International Centre for Peace Among People. Thank you for being present at this magical event, which is so important because we are giving the Award to a citizen who is a world authority on peace.

Salutations to all the VIPs who are present here tonight. Soon you will be inundated with inspiration and delight from the concert Sri Chinmoy is going to perform.

Our Centre has asked the United Nations to declare the Third Millennium as the “Millennium of Peace.” The first person to be awarded with the "Pilgrim of Peace" Award, President Mikhail Gorbachev, has definitely changed forever the course of world history.

We hope and pray that through the innumerable actions that Sri Chinmoy is undertaking for peace, the Millennium of Peace will take birth.

We really feel that the United Nations is our common home, the home of all the people of the New Millennium.

I would like to embrace you all. I am sure that tonight we shall leave this room changed and more determined to bring about peace. We shall make miracles and, above all, Sri Chinmoy — who is such an important and great authority on peace — will help us.

When we go to the United Nations again in the future, we know that we shall have a new and extraordinary friend. Things will happen that could never happen without him.

What years ago was a utopia, and now is a dream, from this evening will become a reality.

With immense and deep love and gratitude, we offer the little pilgrim into the hands of this great man who has done so much, is doing so much and will do so much, this man who today is here with part of his large family: Sri Chinmoy.

[Mr. Costa presents Sri Chinmoy with the Award.]

PCP 13. Galleria Palozzo Colonna, Rome, Italy, 16 May 1998.