Tour to Italy

Rome and Assisi

10th to 17th September 2008
Wednesday 12th September - Pope's Audience at St. Peter's Square

Each and every person on tour woke up for an early breakfast so as to leave early from the hotel to St. Peter's Square. At 7.30pm, the choristers were queuing to enter the Square which opens at 8am. After passing through all the security devices, the choristers found their places right in the front of the Pope's view. A lot of people started arriving at the Square. There were people from all the corners of the world, carrying their national flags to show their identity. Schola Cantorum Jubilate entertained the congregation by singing various motets amongst which ‘Ave Maria' (Arcadelt), ‘Regina Coeli' (Bartolucci) and ‘Jubilate Deo' (Portelli). There was also a Young Brass Band from Denmark which played various pieces and with which we joined and interpreted ‘Locus Iste' by Bruckner. Their Director remained impressed by us joining his band and even showed his appreciation by sending later his regards on the Schola's website guestbook. The enthusiasm increased as the Pope reached and went around the Square. The Schola members waved and greeted His Holiness the Pope who passed just in front of them. At around 10.10am, the ceremony started with a reading from the Gospel and later the Pope addressed the audience with an overview about his seventh international apostolic journey to Austria which ended last Sunday 9th September. After the speech, the delegates introduced the congregation to Benedict XVI, amongst which Schola Cantorum Jubilate. In that instant, the choir performed the first part of ‘Tu es Petrus' in five voice by Lorenzo Perosi. The Pope looked at the choir to listen to this hymn and later applauded. Stefan Attard on behalf of the choir members presented a gift to His Holiness the Pope which consisted of a copy of their last album ‘Jubilate' and a painting of a ‘Volto Sacro' by Austin Camilleri. The Pope's Audience was aired live on the CTV channel, the official Vatican Television. It was nearly 1pm when all the service finished. After that, the choristers went for lunch in the Vatican area and later they started their tour around the Basilica. They saw ‘La Pieta' by Michelangelo, the sculptures of Bernini, the famous paintings and the tomb of St. Peter. Later they visited also the tombs of the Popes amongst which that of Pope John Paul II which all members remember so well. Then, being inside St. Peter, they went also on top of the cupola. They touched the mosaics of the Basilica and had a breathtaking aerial view of the city of Rome. Late in the afternoon, they returned for a rest in their hotel-rooms. Then they went out again for dinner in the area of the Pantheon. After dinner, they went on foot through the main Roman streets, stopping at Piazza Navona, crossing over the bridge in front of the Renaissance Castle of St. Angelo and then reaching St. Peter's Square through Via della Conciliazione. The so much expected day of Wednesday, came to an end. It was a hectic day ….but one not to forget!

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Print More...