Sunday afternoon, at the end of a concert of mountain choirs offered in his honor by the diocese of Belluno-Feltre at the castle of Mirabello (Italy), the Holy Father gave a short address.
"Song is an expression of love", the Holy Father said, citing St. Augustine. "I have heard this great love for the earth that the Lord has given us in your songs. In this thanksgiving, in this love for the earth, there is also present and resounding our love for the Creator, the love of God who has given us this land, this life of joy that we see even more clearly in light of our faith, which tells us that God loves us."
"The popular culture evident in such an elevated form is a joy of our European identity that we should cultivate and promote. Training in song, in choral singing, is not only an exercise of external hearing and the voice; it is also an education of the inner hearing, of the heart's hearing, an exercise and training in life and peace. In order to sing together it is necessary to pay attention to the other to the totality that we call music and culture and, in this way, singing in a choir is an education in life and peace. It is a walking together."
The Holy Father then commented on the words of the bishop of Belluno-Feltre who had recalled that 90 years ago the area's mountain regions were a site of the First World War. "Let us give thanks to God for the peace of our Europe today," concluded Benedict XVI, "and do everything in our power to make peace grow in us and in our world."