Papal Address After Concert

«A Moment of Meditation and Prayer, Bringing Us to Intuit the Harmonies of Heaven»

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2011 ( Here is a translation of Benedict XVI’s brief address Wednesday after a concert in his honor held at the apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo.

The concert was a gift from Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, a former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, who himself composed the four works that were performed.

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Lord Cardinals,

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,

Dear Friends,

This afternoon we were immersed in sacred music, that music which, in a totally particular way, is born of faith and is able to express and communicate faith. Thank you, too, to the splendid performers: the two sopranos, the baritone, Maestro Baiocchi, the Rossini Chamber Choir of Pesaro and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Marche, as well as the organizers and the authorities who have made this event possible.

In the midst of our daily activities, you have offered us a moment of meditation and prayer, bringing us to intuit the harmonies of heaven. An affectionate and special thank you to the author of the pieces we have heard, Maestro Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci. Thank you, Eminence, for having given me this concert and for having composed for the occasion the Benedictus piece dedicated to me as prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord for my ministry.

Maestro Cardinal Bartolucci needs no introduction. I would only like to allude to three aspects of his life that particularly characterize him (in addition to his proud Florentine spirit): his faith, priesthood and music.

Dear Cardinal Bartolucci, faith is the light that has always oriented and guided your life, which has opened your heart to respond with generosity to the Lord’s call; and it is from faith that your composing style springs. It is true that you have had a solid musical formation received in the Florentine Duomo, in Florence’s Conservatory and in the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, with great maestros such as Vito Frazzi, Raffaele Casimiri, Ildebrando Pizzetti. However, for you sacred music is a privileged language to communicate the faith of the Church and to help those who listen to your works in their journey of faith. You have also exercised your priestly ministry through music. Your composing style is inserted in the wake of the great authors of sacred music, in particular of the Sistine Chapel, where you were director for many years: appreciation of the precious treasure that is Gregorian chant, and the wise use of polyphony, faithful to tradition, but also open to new sonorities.

Dear Maestro, tonight, with your music, you have made our soul turn to Mary with the most loved prayer of the Christian tradition, but you have also made us return to the beginning of our journey of faith, to the liturgy of baptism, to the moment we became Christian: an invitation to satiate ourselves always with the only water that extinguishes thirst, the living God, and to commit ourselves every day to reject evil and to renew our faith, reaffirming «I believe!»

«Christus circumdedit me,» Christ has enveloped me and envelops me: This motto summarizes your life, your ministry and your music, dear Lord Cardinal. Therefore, I renew my gratitude to you, to the two sopranos, to the baritone, to the director, and to the choral and orchestral ensembles, and I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing. Thank you.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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