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Back to the Vatican: 22 years after being blessed by Pope John Paul II

2015-12-06

Let´s go back in time to 1993. Pietro Giannone and his band are performing for the Vatican. One of the members had his two year old daughter with him. Pope John Paul II holds the toddler and blesses her.  A moment that 22 years later …  she relives.

ANGELICA D'AVOLIO
"I remember only a little of course. I remember through the pictures. But there is an indescribable feeling because this is not something that happens often. Especially now that he is a saint. My father was the maestro for this band. They came accompanying a group from the First Communion Parish. They played for an audience in the Vatican. That´s when Pope John Paul II held me.  For my parents, it was very emotional. He held me in his arms and kissed me.” 

Now, its time for Angelica's band to visit the Vatican. The stage is the same, but some of the protagonists have changed. It is no longer Pope John Paul II, rather Pope Francis. Some things haven't changed: they were able to perform for the Pope with additional musicians. 

MARIO MANICONE
Musical Band Pietro Giannone (Italy)
"We joined another musical band although we did not know each other. We played for a long time together and later, with my friend Giovanni, we had our work cut out for us.”

GIOVANNI DE ROBBIO
Musical Band Giovanni D'Ovidio (Italy)
"We played the Pontifical Anthem to thank them for having us. We also played the hymn for our patron St. Roque. It was a beautiful moment, indescribable. I would do it again tomorrow and after tomorrow.”

"How old are you?”
"Eight.”
"Nine and a half.”

The newer generations are hoping they don't have to wait 22 years before returning to the Vatican. They are happy and proud to have performed. These two bands of local Italian children filled St. Peter's square and the surrounding ares with happiness during a bleak fall morning.

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