Pope: ‘Music can give hope, even amid difficult times of war’

Pope Francis dedicates an audience with the Little Choir of Antoniano to children in Ukraine, and urges young people to listen to the wisdom and experiences of their grandparents.

By Devin Watkins

As the Church marked the feast of St. Joseph on Saturday, Pope Francis met with young choristers from the Little Choir of Antoniano, which is based in the Italian city of Bologna.

The Pope told the children that he wished to dedicate their encounter to “the children of Ukraine”.

He said their songs can give hope, “even in difficult moments like the ones we are experiencing now due to the war.”

“This is a difficult moment. Did you know that several children who were wounded by the war have already been brought to Rome at the Bambino Gesù Hospital? Let us pray for them. We here in Rome can help them heal.”

Treasure of uniting generations

Pope Francis then reflected on the power of song to unite generations, saying children, parents, and even grandparents sing the same songs.

"We need to unite various generations, especially to favor dialogue between the elderly and the young, between grandparents and grandchildren," he said.

The Pope also encouraged young people to visit their grandparents often to spend quality time with them.

He urged children not to watch TV or smartphones with their grandparents, but rather to listen to them and uncover the treasure of wisdom and faith their lives hold.

“Ask your grandparents to tell you something about their lives. Ask them a question and listen to them. You will discover a treasure!”

Growing with good roots

Pope Francis said intergenerational dialogue helps young people to have “good roots”.

“You are like seedlings,” he said. “You are spreading your first leaves, and opening up to life. But, without roots a plant cannot grow!”

The Pope also reflected on the feast of St. Joseph, and his importance in salvation history.

St. Joseph, he said, united Jesus to the people of God, and Jesus was able to bless all humanity because He was born of a woman and had a father, Joseph, who taught Him about life.

Peace is harmony of differences

The Pope said Jesus’ foster father showed Jesus that no one stands alone but that we are all part of the people of God.

“And, thanks to Jesus and His immense love which He offered us on the Cross, this people encompasses men and women of all tongues, nations, and cultures, like a great choir!”

Pope Francis concluded the audience with the Little Choir of Antoniano reminding the children that every voice is different and therefore adds variety to the whole.

“We are all different so we can create a symphony of voices, a symphony of peoples,” he said. “This is peace. Peace does not eliminate differences; peace is the harmony of differences.”

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19 March 2022, 12:36