- True Parents are married at their Holy Wedding (April 11, 1960)
- True Parents meet Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (April 11, 1990)
- 36 Unificationist-born young adult couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (April 12, 1986)
- True Father delivers the Proclamation of Liberation and Release (April 13, 2004)
- Three couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (April 16, 1960)
- True Father declares the end of the first 21-year course (April 16, 1980)
- True Father encounters Jesus on Easter morning (April 17, 1935)
- The Day of the Resurrection of Shimjeong is proclaimed (April 17, 1960)
APRIL 11, 1960
True Parents’ Holy Wedding
April 11, 1960 (March 16 by the lunar calendar) marked the historic day in the Unification tradition of “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” True Parents joined in holy matrimony in the Chungpa-dong headquarters church. Wedding decorations were put up in the main hall, the walls and floor were covered with white cloth, and a platform was erected. When preparations were completed, True Father consecrated the hall with salt. This began the church tradition of consecrating belongings with Holy Salt.
As described by Rev. Young-hwi Kim, True Mother, dressed in a white hanbok (the traditional Korean dress) with a long wedding veil over her head and ornaments befitting a bride, came down the stairs from the second floor, arm in arm with True Father. A chorus of “Song of the Banquet” was their wedding march. The ceremony was carried out twice, first in the Western style with a wedding veil, and then in the Korean traditional style with a blue silk hanbok, square belt and black hat for the groom and a bridal headpiece and Korean royal dress for the bride. The offering table for the Holy Wedding was set up according to revelations received from Heaven, with some forty kinds of food in cylindrical columns. After the meal, celebrations were held in the same hall, joyously highlighted by True Parents’ dance. True Father said that because of this ceremony, the Principle and the existence of the Unification Church would become known throughout the entire world, and the Will of God would be accomplished.
APRIL 11, 1990
True Parents Meet Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
Organizers of the 11th World Media Conference, which took place in Moscow in April 1990, learned by late afternoon on the day of True Father’s address to the conference, that President Gorbachev had given his approval for a meeting with True Father. Larry Moffitt, who helped organize the media gathering, noted that the “maximum victory” for the Moscow event “was defined early on as a cordial meeting between True Father and Gorbachev.” In fact, expectations had risen to the point that a failure to secure such an invitation would have been interpreted as a providential setback. Thus, organizers breathed a collective sigh of relief when True Parents, along with twenty-eight former presidents or prime ministers and several assistants, entered the Kremlin at 4:30 p.m. on April 11, 1990, and were seated in a conference room.
There was an initial meeting of President Gorbachev with all present, which was followed by a private meeting between the president, True Parents, one ambassador and a couple of senior staff. During the 90-minute open meeting, President Gorbachev said that the media conference was “very important” and expressed satisfaction that it had been “very successful so far.” True Father thanked him for the opportunity to come to Moscow, explained that all former heads of state at the table were supporting him, and urged him to consider the World Media Conference his “asset.”
Dr. Bo Hi Pak, who attended the half-hour private meeting in President Gorbachev’s personal office, reported that the president was “completely free, embracing and talkative.” The Segye Ilbo newspaper reported that President Gorbachev “asked Rev. Moon to help either directly or indirectly in the development of the Soviet Union by using the multinational economic foundations and worldwide organizations of the Unification movement.”
APRIL 12, 1986
36 Couple Unificationist-born Young Adult Holy Marriage Blessing
A new era began for the Unification Church on April 12, 1986, at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul when True Parents gave the Holy Marriage Blessing to 36 Unificationist-born couples. This was the first Holy Marriage Blessing of Unificationist-born young adults apart from the Marriage Blessings of four of True Parents’ own children. On April 8, True Father called candidates in Korea to assemble and began the matching engagement, which continued into the following day. Unificationist-born candidates outside Korea were matched by photograph. Those participating were the sons and daughters of Unificationists who had participated in the 36-, 72-, and 124-Couple Blessings. Through the marriage of their children these early Unificationists became relatives.
In his message to the newly engaged couples, “The New Historical Vanguard,” True Father described the occasion as “an amazing providential event.” He called upon the young couples to “renew the true tradition of the Unification family” by being “standard-bearers … for the sake of all the people of the world.” He also asked them to “learn the historical lesson” from the Israelites who perished after returning to Canaan “by aiming at worldly goals requiring knowledge, money and power.” Finally, he called upon them to be “victorious over the entire world” by going “through suffering that no one else in the world can handle.” He advised them to “find the abandoned path that the people of this world would consider worthless. That is the path God is asking you to walk.”
Below is the Benediction Prayer for the second-generation couples in attendance of the Marriage Blessing of the 36 couples in 1986
April 12, 1986
Beloved Heavenly Father!
Today, on 12 April 1986, in the Little Angels Auditorium in Seoul, Korea, at the 1st Blessing of Second Generation Blessed Children, please accept the offering of the 36 Blessed Couples gather here. Now is the time when the fate of the couples gathered here is decided. They, as eternal true sons and daughters of You, have pledged in front of Heaven to follow the Will of Heaven with an unchanging attitude. We know that their minds and bodies are not their own. As individual truth bodies connected to Heaven, we know that they are faithfully bound together as husband and wife through Your love. Those gathered here in this place today have determined in front of our Heavenly Father to become an eternal couple, so please accept these couples as the glorious families of the Heavenly Nation. Moreover, they know the Will of True Parents, and they know that, after completing the 40 year course in the wilderness, we now stand on a victorious foundation to establish the will of Heaven and to restore Canaan.
At this time here as they form Heavenly families they have understood and re-determined that they have to establish, as members of the Second Generation, the tradition of the Heavenly tribe, the Heavenly people, the Heavenly nation and the Heavenly world. Please allow them to maintain their dignity in front of Heaven and to become couples who cover the deficiency of those who have walked a difficult path and received the Blessing up until now, so that they will not only receive recognition by Heaven as members of the Second Generation, but that they can also, through receiving the love of Heaven, obtain all authority and justice.
As resolving the historical resentment of Heavenly Father and resolving the resentment of the True Parents starts with the establishment of eternal families that can be Your pride, Father, please rule and be the centre of our minds and bodies, please prepare the foundation so that we and our families can be different today than we were yesterday, please allow us to stand as leaders in front of all of humanity, and please allow us to clearly determine to become brave parents in front of Heaven. We earnestly desire that You will lead us and guide us so that we can, step by step, personify the tradition of the Heavenly nation our whole lives, and that You will correct us in the path that we walk on so that we perfect our responsibility to guide mankind.
We earnestly hope and desire that You will unify all the spirits in Heaven and all those reborn on earth, as well as all the saints in Heaven and all their good descendants and connect their road so that they walk as one and move Heavenly fortune.
May Your dignity, authority and glory be with those gathered here today at this ceremony and for whom this benediction prayer is offered, and may Your abundant guidance continuously be with them on the path of life. We earnestly ask You to allow those gathered here to become the fruits of Your hope and desire. We are offering these 36 Blessed Couples, today as they are joined eternally as husband and wife, as the beginning of Second Generation Blessed Families so that they may be the pride of the Unification Movement and the Universe.
Please accept our pledge that we will lead a life which we will not have to be ashamed of when the Eternal You calls us. As we thank You for Your abundant Grace, we pray all of this in the name of the Parents of the 36 Blessed Couples.
APRIL 13, 2004
Proclamation of Liberation and Release
True Father delivered a Proclamation of Liberation and Release on April 13, 2004. He noted that three days earlier, on April 10, he had declared the “release of the angelic world,” the “release of Cain and Abel,” and the “release of the Parents of Cheon ju, Cheon ji, Cheon ji-in” [Parents of the Cosmos, of Heaven and Earth, and of Heaven, Earth and Humankind]. He said he was completing spiritual conditions on many levels that are needed for God to exercise “His authority of all-immanence, all-authority, all-power and all-transcendence.” Since the Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God (January 13, 2001), True Father had proclaimed various realms of liberation. In the Proclamation of Liberation and Release, True Father distinguished between Hae Bang (liberation) and Seok Bang (total and complete release and freedom). True Father added Seok Bang to the Family Pledge on August 20, 2004, meaning that not only sin but any record of sin would be eliminated.
More this week in history:
APRIL 16, 1960
Three Couples Holy Marriage Blessing
On April 16, 1960, the fifth day following True Parents’ Holy Wedding, True Parents blessed three couples in Holy Matrimony. They were Kim Won-pil and Chung Dal-ok; Eu Hyo-won and Sa Gil-ja; and Kim Young-hwi and Chung Dae-hwa. There were a number of providential conditions connected to these couples. True Father noted that they represented the families of Adam, Noah and Abraham. They also were chosen as the resurrected figures of Cain, Abel and Seth in Adam’s family. In addition, they were in the position of Jesus’ three main disciples and restored archangels. True Father stated that he required “three disciples” in the position of spiritual children “who will be loyal to him and follow him through persecution, even at the risk of their lives” as a condition for his Holy Wedding. True Father, thereby, engaged the three couples ahead of his wedding. One of the couples had been previously married, one had been previously engaged, and one was “matched” immediately before their engagement. In this way, they were intended to represent all marital situations. The three couples joined 33 additional couples who were blessed in marriage the following year as the Unification Church’s original 36 couples.
APRIL 16, 1980
True Father Declares the End of the First 21-Year Course
Unification theology teaches that the course of creation and restoration unfolds according to the three stages of formation, growth and perfection. True Father applied that principle in conducting his ministry. He initially applied it to his individual course upon embarking on his public ministry after World War II. The 21-year course with which Unificationists were most familiar followed True Parents’ Holy Wedding in 1960. True Father described how True Parents walked a family-level course for seven years, followed by a national-level course in which the Unification tradition stabilized itself within Korea, and then a worldwide course during which True Parents planted Unificationism globally. True Father declared that 21-year course to be completed on Parents Day, April 16, 1980. He said that it was to be followed by another 21-year course centered on Unification blessed families. This course, he noted, would be centered first upon deterring the advance of communists and then liberating them. To do so, he said Unificationists must “be superior in God-centered character and in strength of knowledge, experience and organization.” The new 21-year course would be centered upon “Home Church,” which True Father described as the methodology to “liberate the entire world centered on the true love of God.”
APRIL 17, 1935
True Father’s Easter Revelation
In his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, True Father traces circumstances that led to his profound encounter with Jesus on Easter morning, 1935. In particular, he notes his exposure to suffering which included the suffering of Korea under Japanese colonial authorities and his family’s suffering, which included the loss of five younger siblings during his fifteenth year. From this time, True Father began to immerse himself in prayer, often at desolate locations. He recounts, “The night before Easter in the year I turned sixteen, I was on Mount Myodu praying all night and begging God in tears for answers.” Then, in the early morning, having spent the entire night in prayer, True Father stated that “Jesus appeared before me … in an instant, like a gust of wind, and said to me, ‘God is in great sorrow because of the pain of humankind. You must take on a special mission on earth having to do with Heaven’s work.’”
True Father said that Jesus’ manifestation “caused my body to shake violently, like quaking aspen leaves trembling in a strong breeze.” He said he was “simultaneously overcome with fear so great I thought I might die and gratitude so profound I felt I might explode.” Jesus, he recounted, “spoke clearly about the work I would have to do … saving humanity from its suffering and bringing joy to God.” True Father said he was “truly afraid.” He wanted “somehow to avoid this mission” and remembers, “I clung to the hem of his clothing and wept inconsolably.”
APRIL 17, 1960
The Day of the Resurrection of Shimjeong Proclaimed
Just after Parents’ Day was established in 1960, True Parents proclaimed the Resurrection of Shimjeong (Parental Heart) on April 17. It was the day on which all Unificationists who had accepted True Parents inherited the potential to be restored as sons and daughters of the True Parents on the shimjeong level. “If you believe in me,” True Father said that day, “spiritually you become my sons and daughters on the shimjeong level.”
This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This instalment covers the week of April 11–17.
Adapted from “Women’s Federation Founded 28 Years Ago”, April 6-12, 2020, contributed by Dr. Michael Mickler, professor of church history at Unification Theological Seminary; and “Praying on Mount Myodu“, April 13-19, 2020 at familyfed.org.