Pope meeting the artists  performing in the annual Christmas Concert Pope meeting the artists performing in the annual Christmas Concert  

Pope to artists: music is a path to peace

Pope Francis thanks the artists who will perform on Saturday evening in the annual Christmas Concert in the Vatican, saying their talents are a gift but also a responsibility. The proceeds of the music performance, which this year is dedicated to the theme of peace, will go to two humanitarian projects planned by the Salesians in war-torn Ukraine.

By Lisa Zengarini

Pope Francis on Saturday received in audience the artists who will perform tonight in the 2022 Christmas Concert in the Vatican.

The Christmas Concert in the Vatican

The event has been organized every year since 1993 for charitable purposes bringing together internationally renowned music artists. The proceeds of the show this year will go to support two humanitarian projects planned by the Salesians of the Don Bosco Missions in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Lviv.

In his greeting remarks addressed to some 120 people,  Pope Francis thanked the organizers for choosing to dedicate this 30th edition to the theme of peace, under the motto "Our Emergency is Peace".

“Peace – he said – embraces the deepest yearnings of the human heart, so it is right that we should devote the best of our material, intellectual and spiritual energies in its service”. 

Solidarity with the people in Ukraine

The Pope then praised the artists for the support that the proceeds of their performance will bring to the Salesians operating in Ukraine, who after the outbreak of the war have remained at the side of the Ukrainian people, housing refugees and distributing food and medicine.

“This project shows a willingness to share in solidarity with our brothers and sisters suffering due to the war.”

He further remarked that Christmas invites us to feel closer to them. “Indeed – he said - what we hear in the Word of God each year during this season of Advent is not a message of resignation or sorrow, but one of hope and joy”.

The role of music for  promoting peace and fraternity

The Pope noted that music and song have a special role to play in communicating this message even in the darkest moments.

“With your song you help spread the message of love and life, touching many hearts and spreading the spirit of fraternity. That is how God works in history, even in the painful and desolate of scenarios.”

This is why – he said - their talent is a great gift, but “also a responsibility”, because it can help foster friendship and peace.

“Music soothes the heart; it opens us to dialogue; it fosters encounter and friendship. In this sense, music is an invitation and a path to peace.”

The two projects planned by the Salesians in Kyiv and Lviv

The  money collected from this evening’s concert will help the Salesians of Don Bosco to build a fully equipped underground shelter for social activities in Kyiv, that once the war is over, can be converted into a small theater, and over it a multi-sport field and playground. In Lviv, the Salesians want to purchase musical and sports equipment for a year-long support program that includes various youth activities in  oratories and summer camps.

Anyone wishing to support the "”Don Bosco Missions" projects can donate €2 by sending a text message to 45594, or €5 or €10 from a landline.

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17 December 2022, 13:14