ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Courtyard of the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. The hearts of all of us who have attended this concert are spontaneously filled with deep gratitude to those who in various ways made it possible and organized it. I first of all extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr Giuseppe Juhar, President of the Academia Musicae Pro Mundo Uno and the members of this esteemed institution. My grateful appreciation then goes to the conductor, Mr Alberto Lysy, who directed the performance perfectly, and to the musicians of the Camerata Lysy of Gstaad, Switzerland, who have shown themselves to be "architects of beauty".
The passages played which enabled us to enjoy the enchantment of evocative melodies, renewed in us the experience of wonder and amazement, opening our minds to horizons full of meaning and value. Indeed, as I wrote in my recent Letter to Artists, every genuine art form "is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world" (n. 6). They invite the human person to rise to the contemplation of perfection, not to alienate himself from concrete life but to return to it, determined to make it truer and more noble, in a word, "more beautiful".
2. Art thus becomes a highly educational experience because, through sensitive forms, it points to a goal to reach, a path to follow, a discipline to practise. The joy it awakens within us is a sign of our deep thirst for beauty, our desire to overcome fear and anxiety, our aspiration to the loftiest ideals of truth and freedom.
May God, "beauty so old and so new", accompany you on your way through life towards the discovery of aesthetic and existential perfection, at the service of humanity, which today more than ever is in need of goodness and harmony.
With this hope, I invoke God's Blessings upon everyone.