Concert to Mark a Marian Anniversary

Tribute to Pius IX, Who Proclaimed Immaculate Conception

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 3, 2004 ( A concert will be held here Tuesday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

The concert will be under the baton of Monsignor Pablo Colino, with the participation of the choirs of the Roman Philharmonic Academy and the Capella Giulia, as well as the orchestra Friends of Harmony. Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé will also perform.

The event is taking place thanks to the sponsorship of Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.

The concert has been organized by the Pro Music and Sacred Art Foundation, the International Association Friends of Sacred Music, as well as the postulation of the canonization of Blessed Pius IX, who promulgated the dogma.

The first part of the program is a «Homage to Mary,» in which, among others, O. Ravanello’s «Tota Pulchra» and G. Verdi’s «Ave Maria» will be performed.

The above will be followed by compositions dedicated to Pius IX, in particular, D. Mustafa’s «Tu es Petrus,» for 10 voices; G.B. Grifoni’s «Laude to Mary,» and G. Rossini’s «Hymn to Pius IX.»

The concert will end with J. Massenet’s «Mary’s Ecstasy» and C. Gounod’s «Pontifical Hymn.»

Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo, Spain’s ambassador to the Holy See, told ZENIT that he wished to join the sponsorship of the initiative as the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is very much linked to the history of Spain and, in particular, to its embassy in the Vatican.

On Sept. 8, 1857, from the balcony of the embassy’s building, next to Piazza di Spagna, Pope Pius IX blessed the statue of the Virgin that was set up there, which the Pope visits every year on Dec. 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception.

With that monument, Pope Pius IX wished to commemorate the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which took place Dec. 8, 1854, with the bull «Ineffabilis Deus.»

Among the authorities who will receive John Paul II on the afternoon of Dec. 8, when he makes a floral offering to the Blessed Virgin’s image, will be Spanish Ambassador Dezcallar de Mazarredo.

The concert begins in Paul VI Hall at 7 p.m. Sitting is limited but admission is free.

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