His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will receive the 2015 Liberty Medal in Philadelphia on October 26, it was announced by the National Constitution Center, where the ceremony will take place.
The event is the second in which a leader of one of the world's major religions will visit Philadelphia. Pope Francis will be in the City of Brotherly Love in September to participate in the World Meeting of Families (see 2015 Is Philadelphia's Year).
Before he receives the Liberty Medal on October 26, the Dalai Lama will lead a public teaching at La Salle University's Hayman Center at 1 pm. The following day, at 9:30 am, he will host a public forum at the Liacouras Center at Temple University on the topic, "Finding Happiness in Troubled Times: Educating the Heart in the 21st Century." Tickets for both events are available at 1-800-298-4200.
In anticipation of the visits of the two religious leaders, Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter said, "The city is fortunate to host two of the world's most inspirational leaders in such a short time, On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, we are privileged to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama."
Born in 1935, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in 1939 and was enthroned in a ceremony in Lhasa in February 1940. The longest-lived leader to ever hold that position, he assumed full temporal (political) power over Tibet in November 1950 at the age of 15 after China's invasion of that country. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising he fled to India, where he currently resides.
Known for his advocacy for Tibetans worldwide and his lifelong interest in modern science, the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.