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Friday, May 6, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 6 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope attended a concert offered in his honor by the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio  Napolitano, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of his pontificate.

  The orchestra and choir of the Opera Theatre of Rome, respectively conducted by Maestro Jesus Lopez Cobos and Maestro Roberto Gabbiani, performed Antonio Vivaldi's "Credo RV 591" and Gioachino Rossini's "Stabat Mater".

  Once finished, the Pope thanked President Napolitano for his "exquisite courtesy" that "again this year wished to give us a moment of musical elevation for the anniversary of the beginning of my pontificate".

  Benedict XVI specifically thanked the directors, the soloists, the Orchestra and the Choir for their "splendid execution of the two works of art" by Vivaldi and Rossini, "two great musicians of whom Italy - which celebrates 150 years of political unification - should feel proud".

  "'I Believe' and 'Amen'", he said, "are the words that begin and end the 'Credo'. ... What does 'I believe' mean?", he asked. Credo "is a word that takes on a much deeper meaning. It confidently affirms the true meaning of the reality that sustains us, that sustains the world. It means embracing this meaning as the solid ground upon which we can stand without fear. It means knowing that the fundament of everything, of our very selves, cannot be made by us but can only be received. And Christian faith doesn't say 'I believe is something' but rather 'I believe in Someone', in God who has revealed himself in Jesus; in Him I perceive the true meaning of the world and this belief implies the entire person who is on a journey toward Him".

  The Holy Father noted that the word "'Amen', which in Hebrew has the same root as the word for 'faith', captures the same concept: confidently placing oneself on a firm foundation, on God".

  Commenting on Rossini's "Stabat Mater", the Pope recalled that "it is a great meditation on the mystery of the death of Jesus and the profound sorrow of Mary. ... Rossini's piety expresses a rich range of feelings in the face of the mysteries of Christ with a very strong emotional tension".

  Benedict XVI ended by expressing the desire that the interpretations of Vivaldi and Rossini "nourish our faith" and asking that his "ministry in the vineyard of the Lord" be kept in everyone's prayers.
BXVI-CONCERT                        VIS 20110506 (400)

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