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Watch Pope St. John Paul II’s 100th birthday concert online

J-P Mauro - published on 07/07/20

The isolation concert brought together classical musicians, dancers, Catholic thinkers, and more.

This year is the centennial anniversary of the birth of Pope St. John Paul II and to celebrate the occasion a massive online concert was organized, gathering together richly talented musicians, dancers, and Catholic figures, all performing to honor one of the greatest Catholic saints of the 20th century.

The Catholic Universe reports that the concert was held under the patronage of the Polish Culture and Art Foundation, alongside Catholic organizations including the John Paul II Foundation in Rome, the Institute of the Heritage of National Thought, the Centre for Thought of John Paul II in Warsaw, and more.

The concert, which has its own website, drew more than 30 great artists from Poland, the United States, England, Germany, Korea, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey and Switzerland. The show is a collection of performances from isolation, with photos of the artists and St. John Paul II to accent the video. The acts include intimate operatic arias, instrumental solo works, fine ballet renditions, and even a few duets. Also featured are introductory remarks from Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan, president of Poland’s bishops’ conference, and US Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

The music selections strike a great balance between Catholic sacred music and a few of the most well-known classical works. Some of our favorites were Angel Joy Blue’s rendition of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria, MaryAnn McCormick and Lisette Oropesa performing Mozart’s Panis Angelicus and Laudate Dominum, a wonderful ballet collaboration between Hannah Cho and Robert Kędziński, and a lively guitar solo from Adam Palma.

The mission of the concert organizers, according to the website, is to celebrate the birth of St. John Paul II, as well as to promote Polish culture and art:

“It aims to increase the visibility of Polish culture abroad, through activities to strengthen the Polish community’s ties with their homeland, organizing activities aimed at maintaining and promoting national traditions, increasing national, civic and cultural awareness, education through art, propagating patriotic values, awakening interest in Polish history, teaching respect for the homeland and its heroes, shaping the attitudes of modern patriotism.”

Running just under three hours, there is a lot of music to be enjoyed in the JP2 Centennial Concert. It’s perfect for those who miss attending in-person concerts or just as background music to fill out your day. Enjoy!

Catholic MusicClassical MusicPope John Paul II
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