Blessed John Paul II and the gift of music

Blessed John Paul II, Concert Portrait

A beautiful (and free) concert took place in the Brussels Cathedral of Sts. Michael and Gudula on Divine Mercy Sunday to celebrate the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Cathedral of Sts. Michael and Gudule, Brussels, 01 May 2011.

In a letter written to artists in 1999, JP II wrote:

Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world. It is therefore a wholly valid approach to the realm of faith, which gives human experience its ultimate meaning. That is why the Gospel fullness of truth was bound from the beginning to stir the interest of artists, who by their very nature are alert to every “epiphany” of the inner beauty of things….The Church also needs musicians. How many sacred works have been composed through the centuries by people deeply imbued with the sense of the mystery! The faith of countless believers has been nourished by melodies flowing from the hearts of other believers, either introduced into the liturgy or used as an aid to dignified worship. In song, faith is experienced as vibrant joy, love, and confident expectation of the saving intervention of God.

It was, therefore, truly fitting that the Church remember John Paul II with music. The Baroque Orchestra and Choir from Lublin, Poland, Cantare et Sonare, performed a variety of pieces (Bach, Haendel, Franck, Vivaldi). The concert began with the Gaude Mater Polonia. Lesser known pieces included Donizetti’s Ave Maria and Stradella’s Pieta Signore.  The concert finished with John Paul II’s favorite song, Barka, followed by the Te Deum.

Conductor Teresa Krasowska

Many thanks to all the musicisans and those who organized the event!

BEATUS JOHANNES PAULUS, ora pro nobis!


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