‘Hugging saint’ Mata Amritanandamayi meets Pope Francis in Vatican

Amritanandamayi and other religious leaders had gathered in Rome on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: December 3, 2014 2:28 am
mata-with-pope Amritanandamayi and other religious leaders had gathered in Rome on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

Hindu spiritual leader from Kerala Mata Amritanandamayi has met Pope Francis in Vatican on Monday.

Her Math in Kollam said the spiritual leader, known as hugging mother, sat next to Pope and signed the joint declaration of religious leaders against modern slavery. The declaration underlined that slavery, in terms of human trafficking, is a crime against humanity. Leaders of various Christian denominations as well as Budhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths had signed the declaration, said a Math release.

Amritanandamayi and other religious leaders had gathered in Rome on Monday, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, to sign a common declaration, showing their commitment towards the eradication of modern slavery by 2020.

“We are honoured and thankful that Pope Francis has gathered us here today under the auspices of the Global Freedom Network. I am optimistic that all global faiths are uniting together to inspire both spiritual and practical actions towards society ending the horror of slavery and human trafficking,” the release quoted Amritanandamayi as saying.

The initiative to bring together world religious leaders on a common platform was made by the Global Freedom Network (GFN), which is a faith-based global network with a vision and purpose to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.

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    Amit A
    Dec 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm
    This is a great step towards the noble cause of eradicating the slavery.Pope's speech was very precise. I was quite moved by the heart-wrenching stories Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi from India) mentioned of people who have been victims of slavery. I liked message read from Thich nhat hanh also. Imams and Rabbis spoke well.Best part was where Amma mentioned that the solution to this problem is not hatred but rather compion. I pray that this meeting of all those highly elevated spiritual souls be a turning point in the history of mankind to end to slavery. Let us all contribute to this noble cause and great initiative, at least by praying deeply that this noble cause be fulfilled. And if possible let us meet whosoever of these great leaders is easily accessible to us. I am planning to meet Amma soon.Thanks to youtube for enabling us to watch the full program live. Recordings are available on youtube.
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      Maheśvaran ॐ
      Dec 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm
      I am inspired by this rare solidarity between the major faiths. I hope it is a trend that continues and expands to help heal society and the planet.
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        Sunanda
        Dec 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm
        Deeply touched by such a courageous and great meeting! It shows such a high level of maturity among all the committed leaders of different religions! They all pointed out in united strength this human created crime against humanity. The unity amongst diversity was clearly reflected in their speeches. We are all an image of God, we all are reflections of the same source of light... May their resolve create more awareness about this tragic situation in the world!
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          Sunanda
          Dec 5, 2014 at 10:25 am
          Deeply touched by such a courageous and great meeting! It shows such a high level of maturity among all the committed leaders of different religions! They all pointed out in united strength this human created crime against humanity. The unity amongst diversity was clearly reflected in their speeches. We are all an image of God, we all are reflections of the same source of light... May their resolve create more awareness about this tragic situation in the world!
          Reply
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            Arpana
            Dec 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm
            I was deeply moved watching so many leaders of divergent faiths come together to make this declaration. This is truly a milestone in the communication and cooperation amongst religions. May this trend continue forward, and may their goal to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery by 2020 be realized!
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              Aparna
              Dec 4, 2014 at 4:10 am
              This is such great news! 2 amazing leaders united =)
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                Jaggu Kottilil
                Dec 4, 2014 at 7:47 am
                .It's inspiring to witness how this historical and illustrious gathering with great leaders of various faiths united in a common compionate cause for working to eradicate the horrors of human slavery that still plague our world. Thank you, Pope Francis, for organizing this groundbreaking event, the import of which glows in my mind as a symbol of hope and unity.Pure Love is the solution for the most of the problems in the world like slavery etc ,AMMA stated in Her speech in Vatican city ,AMMA showed to the world by practicing it and made changes in millions throughout the world by AMMA"s Life
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                  Jaggu Kottilil
                  Dec 4, 2014 at 7:26 am
                  Pure Love is the solution for the most of the problems in the world like slavery etc ,AMMA stated in Her speech in Vatican city ,AMMA showed to the world by practicing it and made changes in millions throughout the world by AMMA"s Life.
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                    Prana
                    Dec 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm
                    It is wonderful that religious leaders from all over the globe could come together in unity to address this issue. With the support of the Vatican and Embracing The World (Amma's charitable network), I am sure we will make headway into eradicating this atrocity. Efforts to increase awareness and then to express that awareness in action by people of every religion across the world will most definitely bring about mive change and help those suffering in silence.
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                      Rajeswari
                      Dec 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm
                      How brave for all of these spiritual leaders of different faiths and from different corners of the world to unite to inspire the change we need to end slavery in all its forms. To even imagine the life of just one person who is being used in these horrid ways is an utter nightmare. And then we hear that the estimated number is 36 million people who are the victims of these crimes against humanity. That is the potion of Canada, my home country. May the world hear the pleas of these leaders of faith. May positive change unfold.
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                        Vinay
                        Dec 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm
                        So inspiring to see Amma stand alongside Pope Francis and such a diverse group of faith leaders and declare that modern slavery must end. Amma and some of the other leaders also gave very concrete suggestions on practical steps that can be taken to achieve this goal. You can still watch it online! s:www.youtube/watch?...
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                          Arpana
                          Dec 4, 2014 at 10:07 am
                          I want to thank them all to have come together to eradicate modern slavery. It is a hope for all of us that we are going to be able to take care of each other in the near future.
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                            ramgee
                            Dec 4, 2014 at 8:15 pm
                            It is a great initiative indeed and with the backing of such leaders, hopefully this can be achieved.
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                              Julie Mae
                              Dec 5, 2014 at 1:44 am
                              I am grateful that so many global spiritual leaders came together to discuss ending human trafficking and modern slavery. Today I feel hopeful that through this unified voice, more women, men and children will be able to live free lives. My graude to all the honored spiritual leaders for coming together and speaking out.
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                                Bhavia Wagner
                                Dec 4, 2014 at 4:36 am
                                It is a great moment in history when world religious leaderscome together to bring attention to the need to address such a seriousworldwide problem. Human traffickingreduces innocent people into a commodity to exploit. The victims have no voice, no rights. Life becomes an experience of terror andtorture. No one would want to be treatedthat way. Modern-day slavery and human trafficking won’tend unless more people take a moral stance and say – this is wrong, this needsto stop. It is heartening to see this highly-esteemed interfaithcoalition calling for an end of this cruel and inhumane treatment of our fellowhuman beings. I think some first stepswe can all take are: educate ourselvesabout this widespread issue, bring the topic into the light by discussing it with others,and donate to a trust-worthy organization that is working to end human trafficking.
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                                  Bindu Krishna
                                  Dec 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm
                                  It is truly heartening to see all faiths come together in a commitment to eradicate human trafficking that is pushing so many young lives into endless suffering and torture.
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                                    Julie Cairns
                                    Dec 4, 2014 at 1:49 am
                                    This is a wonderful initiative. No human being should be subjected to slavery, and it's great to see world religious leaders coming together to end this and support human rights for people who are being forced into slavery and being trafficked by others against their will.
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                                      Deepak Raghavan
                                      Dec 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm
                                      Very cool! Only through such concerted effort can we the victims find peace and happiness!
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                                        Del Marshall
                                        Dec 4, 2014 at 1:00 am
                                        Wonderful to see all the faiths coming together to act as one. By God's grace their combined power will put a still to this age-old evil.
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                                          Scotti
                                          Dec 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm
                                          Getting leaders of so many religions together in one room, united on one issue, is a major accomplishment. Will their dialog spill over to other issues and foster steps of cooperation? We can only hope (and pray).
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                                            Devapriyan
                                            Dec 3, 2014 at 11:05 pm
                                            A great and significative event! Looking forward for more such common statements and actions in the future.
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