Former H.O.S. in Israel and then to Rome

By Galumalemana Steve Percival 25 May 2023, 11:30AM

The former Head of State of Samoa, Afioga Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi and Masiofo Filifilia Tamasese are in Haifa, Israel visiting the Bahai World Centre this week.

The visit to the Holy Land follows a week-long sojourn to Rome, an ancient metropolis aptly referred to as the Eternal City.

The travelers are accompanied by Galumalemana Steve Percival and were welcomed to Haifa by Dr Chris Kavelin and Ms Lisa Michelle Silvers who traveled from Australia.

In Rome, Afioga Tui Atua was able to meet with high-ranking officials of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He was welcomed to the consultation by Monsignor Anthony Ekpo, Undersecretary of the Dicastery.

 Also present at the meeting were Dr Tony Crook of the University of St Andrews, Father Manuele Solofa who has lived in Rome since 1992, and Samoa’s Honorary Consul to Italy, Susuga Papalii Giovanni Caffarelli.

Afioga Tui Atua was able to share his vision to establish what is being referred to as the Pulemelei Research Centre and Biosphere Reserve, receiving meaningful advice from Mons. Ekpo, and Fr Avelino Chico S.J. and Mr. Gabriele Verga, representatives of the Dicastery’s sections of Listening-Dialogue, and Research-Reflection respectively.

The Regional Coordinator for Oceania, Alwin Macalalad, was also present to provide advice on how best to move the project forward within the framework of the Laudato Si’, the global movement for ecological restoration inspired by a letter written by Pope Francis in 2015.

The Bahá’í Holy Places and Gardens in ‘Akko and Haifa are the spiritual focal points for Bahá’í pilgrims who travel from every part of the globe to visit and pray at these sacred spots. These sites are a gift to humanity and are open to every single member of the human race.

On 0July 2008, the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa and ‘Akko were inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, in recognition of their “outstanding universal value” as holy places and places of pilgrimage for the followers of the Bahá’í Faith.

The beauty and magnificence of the Gardens and Terraces… “are symbolic of the nature of the transformation which is destined to occur both within the hearts of the world’s peoples and in the physical environment of the planet.”


By Galumalemana Steve Percival 25 May 2023, 11:30AM
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