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Rome Reports

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Pope's 80th birthday gift: music

There are few days left before Pope Francis celebrates his 80th birthday on December 17th. As such, The Foundation for the Sacred Arts, want to prepare him a special surprise. Music sometimes manages to awaken even the deepest feelings. Plato said: "Music is for the soul what gymnastics for the body." Even Pope Francis knows the power of music, and has shared his admiration for it in the past. DR. HANS-ALBERT COURTIAL President, Foundation for the Sacred Arts "Everyone says 'Pope Benedict is the great connoisseur of sacred music,' and this is so. He always attended the concerts, both as a cardinal and even once we had the honor of him coming to see us as pope. Pope Francis does not go to concerts, but he understands a lot about music. He is a great lover of music." Sacred music is an indispensable part of Vatican celebrations and is gaining more strength and followers. This was demonstrated at the XV Festival of Music and Sacred Art, which was attended by more than 18 thousand people when it was held at the Vatican. This year's festival has been dedicated to the recently canonized Teresa of Calcutta and it was composed of ten major concerts, each with a different choir. It was an exciting experience for many of the attendees. DR. HANS-ALBERT COURTIAL President, Foundation for the Sacred "We do not talk about beautiful concerts, but of a spiritual elevation. I have never seen so many people cry in a church like at this concert. Such emotion. The silence during the concert was not a courtesy silence out of respect for being at a concert. People were really excited." The foundation was created in 2002 and is not only in charge of music. Its president, Hans-Albert Courtial, assures that they have undertaken many projects of monuments of restoration in Rome. The most important: the Vatican. DR. HANS-ALBERT COURTIAL President, Foundation for the Sacred Arts "We have been working for seven years to restore St. Peter's Basilica from the exterior. At the end of this year, the north phase work will end and in this way the Basilica will be completely restored from the outside. Next year, we will begin with the big dome and the two smaller ones. It will be a great effort for us." The work will last at least two years. The project has just been born and should now look for people who want to finance the restoration so that St. Peter's Basilica looks as new and majestic as the day it was built. As undoubtedly, it is one of the most important churches in the world. AQ/MB RR- MG VM PR Up:JRB