Korean Concert for Pope's Visit Draws Global Audience in Rome

‘Music Is Beautiful and Is a Way to Find God’

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Sacred music helps the faithful find God and has brought together many, from various nations, to pray for the Pope and Korea.

This is the view of one of the many who were present at a concert of the Musica Sacra Choir of Seoul last Friday night. The concerts were held two consecutive nights in Rome, Friday at St Ignatius, and Saturday at Santa Maria in Trastevere, both churches Pope Francis has visited in recent months.

Celebrating the Holy Father’s visit to Korea, which begins today, and the choir’s 30th anniversary, the performance of the polyphonic choir of the Archdiocese of Seoul was under the direction of musical director, Jong Soo Hwang Joseph, who has conducting and educational experience in the US, Europe, and Asia.

At the Friday night performance, ZENIT spoke to attendees about their experiences.

«I think God is beauty and the music is beautiful and is a way to find God,» said one pilgrim who was in Rome from Barcelona with a group studying the Pope’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium throughout Spain.

«When we sing,» she added, «we pray, and today we are here praying, praying for the Pope and Korea.

«This type of sacred music is a prayer, a very interesting type of prayer in which we are all called to participate.»

Two Roman grandparents told ZENIT how they loved the Ave Maria and Ave Verum and how they wished they had brought the rest of their families.

Some of the other pieces performed Friday included O Magnum Mysterium, Adoramus Te Christe, If Ye Love Me, and Beati Quorum Via.

French visitors said they found it amazing. They came into the Baroque church dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, by chance, but once they heard the music, decided to remain for the rest.

A family from the United States spoke to ZENIT, saying that they were en route to the Pantheon, but when they realized what was going on, «We couldn’t resist listening. It made us feel closer to the Pope, and somehow emotionally and prayerfully tied to his upcoming journey.»

The rector of Rome’s Pontifical Korean College, Fr. Giovanni Kim Jong-Su, also attended the event.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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