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Pope Francis

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The Vatican has its own Anthem? Yes! Check it out

2015-11-06

The Vatican has its own army...

When it comes to language, Latin is the official tongue. 

It's national flag is yellow and white...and of course, as any sovereign state, it also has its own land and laws right in the heart of Rome.  

So, it makes sense that the Holy See also has its own Anthem. 

It's known as the Pontifical Anthem. The song is played to mark the presence of the Pope in solemn occasions that are key in the life of the Vatican City State, including of course the moment when the Pope is elected.  Abroad, the hymn is played to welcome Vatican ambassadors. 

It has gone through several changes over the years. The first instrumental version was composed back in 1869 by French musician Charles Gounod, for Pope Pius IX's  Jubilee Year of priestly ordination. Then the anthem was officially adopted  in 1949 under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII

The original Italian lyrics were penned by Antonio Allegra, who at the time worked as the organist of St. Peter's Basilica. Over the years, other lyrics were written in different languages. 

The lyrics include 'Force and terror will not prevail, but truth and love will reign.” 

The latest version in Latin, came out in 1999. It's English translation includes lyrics like 'Peter, You are the vicar of Christ on earth-a rock amid the waves, You are a beacon in the darkness.' 

The Holy See is quick to note that the hymn, is not a national anthem per say, but rather a Pontifical Hymn.

Over the years, it has been played from generation to generation, pontificate to pontificate in honor of the successor of St. Peter and the Universal Church. 


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