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International festival brings large philharmonic orchestras to papal basilicas


Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn - Religious compositions by the greatest artists in history can be heard in venues sure to bring one closer to God: papal basilicas.

This is the latest edition of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, held every year in the Eternal City.

HANS ALBERT COURTIAL
President, Foundation "Pro Musica e Arte Sacra"
Our goal is to achieve what Paul VI had requested: make the world more beautiful. This is what we do. The St. Peter's Basilica becomes a sea of tears. People get excited. Nothing else causes such emotion.

This year the Festival is dedicated to a special person: Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Forty years have passed since she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Additionally, the arch-priest of St. Peter's Basilica explains the saint has one thing in common with sacred music: the beauty it attracts.

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest, St. Peter's Basilica
Beauty coincides with goodness. If beauty is not part of the heart, it is a mask and the mask sooner or later will fall of. Then the ugliness behind it is discovered.

Cardinal Angelo Comastri recalls how the goodness of Mother Teresa left a mark on artists such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, a famous Italian film director.

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest, St. Peter's Basilica
When he was with Mother Teresa, he said, 'This woman, when she looks, sees everything.' He added, 'Maybe she sees what I don't see. In this woman's face there is a beauty that attracts.' He was referring to the beauty of goodness.

Participating in the concerts is free, although the organization advises to register on its website. The compositions will be performed by some of the best orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Illuminart Philharmonic of Japan or the Saar Philharmonic Choir of Germany.

The festival begins Sept. 14 concludes on the 18.

The “Pro Musica e Arte Sacra” Foundation not only promotes this types of concerts, but it also fundraises for the maintenance and restoration of the most valuable heritage that can be seen in these basilicas and other historical churches of the Eternal City.

Javier Romero Bedate
Melissa Butz