A s he stood alone within the cavernous space of the Duomo in Milan, his voice seemed to soar from the depths of his being in his desire to rekindle the hopes of humanity, perhaps even to revive its dying embers. It didn’t matter if I understood the words to the sacred hymns or not. His eloquent voice needed no vocabulary. I was mesmerized, as were millions who watched and heard him, not in a concert or performance, but in solemn prayer. His intention was “to hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart.” That he did.
Later, his solitary figure struck a poignant chord as he walked down the long nave of the cathedral towards its bronze doors. He emerged on the steps of the Duomo in late afternoon with a single microphone placed in front of him. From the vast empty square that surrounded him, he sang out to the world his deepest hopes for a rebirth, “a renaissance,” a new beginning.
With heart and soul and unshakeable faith, he ended his Easter prayer so movingly with an ode to hope – the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home.