Pray in beauty
This vow so dear to St Pius X is at the heart of this assembly of young people which you are witnessing.
Far back in 1907, in the suburbs of Paris, a small group of students would gather together some young boys to teach them this praying in beauty, the sense of which had been lost in the Liturgy.
Their modest efforts were to be crowned with great success. From church to church the Little Singers of the Wooden Cross carried this faith and this ideal.
Since 1930, the fame of the celebrated “Manecanterie” and his white shirts has crossed the boundaries of France, under the influence of the then Abbe Maillet, and he little by little grouped around himself numerous ranks of child singers trained for their journey.
The two world wars did not slow down this effort. Following the example of the prestigious Capelle Romane, the Little Singers of all tongues and latitudes discovered Palestrina, Vittoria , J. S. Bach, Handel . . . .
Today, the International Federation of the Little Singers approved by the Holy Father, has more than 200,000 children from a hundred nations.
Successively, Paris, Rome three times (1949-1951-1954), Colonia, Chicago, Lourdes, Montreal, Tokyo, Bologna, Catania have hosted their national and international Congresses.
On the morning of the Nativity they have come, 4500 of them, from various continents, to offer the homage of their songs to His Holiness Pope John XXIII.
They are also happy to get their numerous friends from the Eternal City and in the majestic ambience of the Palazzo dello Sport to listen to their various groups which have come from 12 countries including distant America and even Africa. Japan also is represented at this Congress in the person of its National President.
Missionaries of sacred music, the Little Singers also intend to be the same for peace. They know that song is an instrument of this peace which is so difficult to attain. Dear listeners and Roman friends, may these moments spent together this evening be able to be a bond among the hearts and minds around this Worldwide Choir assembled here at Rome.