Pope Benedict XVI and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano will be the guests of honor Monday evening at a special concert in the Paul VI Hall. The concert will be sponsored by the Italian Embassy to the Holy See. The Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 and “La forza del Destino” by Giuseppe Verdi.
In past years, the concert traditionally took place in the spring, and was hosted by the President of the Republic for the Holy Father, on the anniversary of his election to the pontificate.
This year, the concert has been made possible thanks to the contribution of the founder members of the Flying Angels Foundation, an NGO founded a year ago with a mandate to provide free airline tickets for disadvantaged children in need of specialized medical care. The foundation is chaired by the Ambassador of Italy to the Holy See.
The concert was organized to honor President Napolitano, in view of the end of his seven-year term of office and the Holy Father, to celebrate the 84th anniversary of the Lateran Pacts. The Lateran Pacts of 1929 recognized the sovereignty of the Holy See in Vatican City and also regulated relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian state.
All proceeds of the concert will go to the charity and its work for the benefit of children who are seriously ill.