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Rome Reports

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Mariachi group makes Pope smile at the Vatican

"From Mexico, the Banda de Musica Leones from Veracruz.â? The group is made up of 65 young musicians from the state of Veracruz. Seated at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, they sang "Canta y no Lloresâ? in their traditional clothing. The young musicians are actually on tour through Europe, but they made it a point to stop at the Vatican to play before the Pope. LUIS HERRERA MANUEL SANCHEZ Musical Director, Banda Leones (Mexico) "We came to tour in Belgium and France but our main destination is the Vatican. It's a dream we've had for two and a half years. It was our dream to come to Europe which actually motivated us to work hard and improve. It has been a huge thrill and a lot of excitement.â? "It's very exciting to come here and sing and dance before the Pope.â? "Even though the weather is very hot, it was worth it to play for someone as important as the Pope.â? It was only a moment, but they say the memory will last a lifetime, since it's not often that young musicians can say, they played for the Pope. LUIS HERRERA MANUEL SANCHEZ Musical director, Banda Leones (Mexico) "When I looked at their faces, I saw that some of them had tears in their eyes. To hear the name of our group-it's something we had been waiting for, for an entire lifetime.â? Ever since John Paul II was Pope,  the color and music of Mexico has had a special place at the Vatican. Now, the tradition continues under Benedict XVI. BR/KLH CTV VM -PR