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Saturday, June 2, 2012


Vatican City, 2 June 2012 (VIS) - At 7.30 p.m. yesterday the Pope went to the La Scala opera house in Milan, where a concert was held in his honour. The Pope is currently visiting Milan to participate in the seventh World Meeting of Families. Daniel Barenboim conducted the orchestra and choir of La Scala in Beethoven’s ninth symphony.

At the end of the concert Benedict XVI expressed his thanks to the musicians, singers and conductor. "By choosing Beethoven's ninth symphony we are sending a message in music which affirms the fundamental value of solidarity, fraternity and peace. This, I believe, is also an important message for the family, because it is in families that we first experience how human beings are not created to live closed in themselves, but in relation with others. It is in the family that we understand that self realisation does not mean being guided by selfishness and putting oneself at the centre, but giving oneself. It is in the family that the light of peace begins to burn in people's hearts, so as to illuminate our world".

The Holy Father also noted that the joy of the concert had been clouded by the recent earthquakes, "which have brought great suffering to so many inhabitants of this country. The words taken from Schiller's "Hymn to joy" sound empty to us, they seem untrue", he said. "At this time ... we have no need for inauthentic accounts of a distant God or of a fraternity without commitment. We are searching for a God Who is close. We are searching for a fraternity which, in the midst of suffering, supports others and helps us to carry on. After this concert many people will go on to adore the Eucharist, they will go to the God Who placed Himself in our sufferings and continues to do so, the God Who suffers with us and for us, and thus makes men and women capable of sharing the suffering of others and of transforming it into love. This is the message we have received from this concert".

At the end of the concert the Holy Father returned to the archbishopric where he spent the night.

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