Nov. 4-6 Nov, Palais des Sports, Marseille, France – Europe Yatra2019
Though this was Amma’s first visit to Marseille in more than two decades, massive crowds gathered at Marseille’s Palais des Sports for the eighth stop on Amma’s European Tour. Countless well-wishers, from new-comers to dedicated volunteers, flooded the arena with enthusiasm and passion and shared precious moments together with Amma.
Amma was formally welcomed to the South of France with a special reception from dignitaries like Frédérick Bousquet, former world champion swimmer and current representative of Marseille, and Monique Robineau, advisor to the president of the region and to the city of Marseille. Acclaimed author Pierre Lunel, the biographer of Pope Francis, launched his new biography of Amma: Amma, Celle Qu’on Attendait (Amma: the One We Were Expecting) to the delight of all present.
With the launch of the book, Pierre Lunel spoke at length about the experience of writing about Amma over the past two years, and how it changed him: “The most extraordinary was that, when the book was finished, the joy didn’t leave me. As if it was in me and had built its own small house. I didn’t know, Mother, that when you put joy in a human heart, it is forever. It was not a holiday rental but a lease for eternity. It was never to come backwards.”
In her own remarks, Amma spoke about the power of love and compassion to protect us in these troubled times: “The love and compassion overflowing from our heart form the power that leads us to victory. What saved the lives of millions of people during all the recent natural disasters? It was the love and compassion filling the hearts of people all over the world. This strength destroys all barriers and unites all hearts on a single thread. May this love and compassion ever illumine our hearts.”
At the end of three-day program, as Amma was about to leave after giving darshan all through the night, the venue seemed as full as it had throughout, as the devotees waited patiently for one last glimpse of Amma, their hearts full of love and gratitude.