ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 22 November 2003
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Thank you for this concert with which you have wished to commemorate the centenary of the Motu Proprio "Tra le Sollecitudini", promulgated by my Predecessor, St Pius X. I greet with affection everyone present. I greet first of all Bishop Vasco Giuseppe Bertelli, President of the Italian Association of St Cecilia, and thank him for expressing the sentiments you share. I greet the sponsors and organizers of this sacred performance and thank you all for the important gift of the bell, upon which is engraved the biblical phrase: "Cantate Domino canticum novum".
I greet the choir members of the Scholae Cantorum "SS. Pietro e Paolo" from Gessate, Milan, and from San Gervasio di Capriate, Bergamo, who have performed an oratorio composed by Mons. Lorenzo Perosi, the "Passion according to St Mark". I greet those taking part in the National Congress of your praiseworthy Association. I extend an affectionate thought to the very many singers from all over Italy who will perform at the Eucharistic celebration in St Peter's tomorrow to commemorate this important anniversary.
2. Your Association is named after St Cecilia, whom popular piety presents as patroness of music.
This young Roman martyr invites believers to be watchful on their journey toward the encounter with Christ, gladdening the earthly pilgrimage with the festivity of music and song.
May St Cecilia accompany each of you from Heaven, dear brothers and sisters, and help you to carry out your mission fully in the Church.
As I invoke upon you the motherly protection of Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, I assure you of my remembrance in prayer and cordially bless you all.