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Video: Have You Ever Heard the Vatican’s National Anthem?

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 07/12/15

It's called “Inno e Marcia Pontificale” or the “Papal Anthem”

Did you know Vatican City has a “national anthem”? It’s called “Inno e Marcia Pontificale” or the “Papal Anthem,” and is played on special occassions to mark the presence of the pope or one of his representatives. According to ChurchPop, the Vatican says it is not a national anthem for the Vatican per se, but for all Catholics.

The music was composed by Charles Gounod in 1869 for Pope Pius IX’s golden jubilee of priestly ordination, and made the official papal anthem on October 16, 1949 by Pope Pius XII. Around that time, Antonio Allegra, an organist for St. Peter’s Basilica, wrote lyrics for the music in Italian. In 1991, Raffaello Lavagna wrote a new set of lyrics in Latin. These lyrics are below:

Translated from the Italian:

O Rome immortal of Martyrs and Saints,
O immortal Rome, accept our praises:
Glory in the heavens to God our Lord,
And peace to men who love Christ!
To You we come, Angelic Pastor,
In You we see the gentle Redeemer,
The Holy Heir of true and holy Faith;
Comfort and refuge of those who believe and fight.
Force and terror will not prevail,
But Truth and Love will reign.

Translated from the Latin:

O happy Rome – O noble Rome
You are the seat of Peter, who shed his blood in Rome,
Peter, to whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given.
Pontiff, You are the successor of Peter;
Pontiff, You are the teacher, you confirm your brethren;
Pontiff, You who are the Servant of the servants of God,
and fisher of men, are the shepherd of the flock,
linking heaven and earth.
Peter, You are the vicar of Christ on earth,
a rock amidst the waves, You are a beacon in the darkness;
You are the defender of peace, You are the guardian of unity,
watchful defender of liberty; in You is the authority.
Pontiff, you are the unshakable rock, and on this rock
was built the Church of God.
Peter, You are the vicar of Christ on earth,
a rock amidst the waves, You are a beacon in the darkness;
You are the defender of peace, You are the guardian of unity,
watchful defender of liberty; in You is the authority.
O happy Rome – O noble Rome.

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Pope Benedict XVI
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