Europe/Switzerland – The Swiss delegation of Star Singers, visiting the Vatican, distributed more than 150 unexpected blessings on the streets of Rome.
Friborg (Agenzia Fides) – Sivan, Brie Victoria, Salome and Nora are aged between 11 and 13 and they are the four star singers of French Switzerland who visited Rome this year with the Tyrolean and German delegation (28 in total) and who participated in the Mass on 1 January in The Vatican is headed by Pope Francis.
The Singers of the Star are part of a tradition that dates back to the 16th century and is widespread in Northern Europe. By custom, children dressed as the Three Wise Men, Pages or Angels, sing Christmas carols in the streets and hand out blessings in the homes of the towns in which they live. They start before Christmas until Epiphany. Youngsters raise money for charity.
Since 2001, thanks to the organization of the Pontifical Society of German Missionary Childhood in Aachen, some delegations of groups of star singers have been able to visit Rome for the Mass of the Holy Father on January 1 and to enjoy a few days in the Eternal City between cultural visits, meetings and joint moments between delegations different that meet in Rome.
“We are grateful that we were able to come to Rome despite the period we are going through due to the pandemic. Precisely for this reason, the work of the star singers will extend this year until February 2, ”explains Nadia Bruger, coordinator of the Swiss-French group and Sonia Lovaro, responsible for Messio’s missionary childhood Switzerland, by Fides.
“The unscheduled encounters in our trip enabled our young people to get close to people on the streets, in restaurants, bars or outside churches. The meeting with vagrants was especially touching, arousing great interest in them and raising many questions. They distributed more than 150 blessings in total Nadia says.
From December 29 to January 2, the four star singers of the canton of Neuchâtel de Saint-Aubin-Cortelode accompanied by their observers, Rosa Piccini and Gerda Pimentel, highlighted the ecumenical movement as the main theme of their activities. They also met some members of the Swiss Guard and received a visit from Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, who described them as “apostles of hope”. During the friendly meeting, Cantori della Stella introduced him and received a special blessing.
On January 1st, it was the turn of the Mass with the Holy Father that everyone was excited about and no one will forget. “Being star singers is a great gift. It gives us the opportunity to help other children as the missionary childhood motto reminds us, ‘Children who help children’, and at the same time it gives us the opportunity to live extraordinary experiences like the one we live in Rome”, assert the four children.
The work of these young singers is the greatest act of solidarity in the world that children do with other children. This year’s goal is to promote health in Africa (see Fides 12/30/2021). There are about 15,000 children and young people participating in Singers of the Star in Switzerland whose commitment sustains nearly 200 projects around the world.
(Egypt) (Agenzia Fides 01/04/2022)
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