Marines perform "Inno e Marcia Pontificale"

.- Wednesday at the White House, the United States Marines greeted Pope Benedict by performing the Pontifical March, "Inno e Marcia Pontificale" and the US National Anthem.

According to the Vatican City State website, the papal anthem was composed by Charles Gounod, a Catholic and famous French musician known for his composition of Ave Maria.  He composed the papal anthem for the jubilee of Pope Pius IX’s priestly ordination and first performed it in 1869.

The hymn was adopted as the Vatican’s anthem in 1949 when Pope Pius XII decided to adopt “Inno e Marcia Pontificale” as the Vatican anthem due to the hymn’s religious tones.  The march is not thought to be a national anthem, but rather one for the Chair of Peter.

Today the anthem is performed by a civilian band when the Pope or one of his representatives is present or for special occasions within the Vatican City State.

Original Italian Words

Roma immortale di Martirie di Santi,
Roma immortale accogli i nostri canti:
Gloria nei cieli a Dio nostro Signore,
Pace ai Fedeli, di Cristo nell'amore.
A Te veniamo, Angelico Pastore,
In Te vediamo il mite Redentore,
Erede Santo di vera e santa Fede;
Conforto e vanto a chi combate e crede,
Non prevarranno la forza ed il terrore,
Ma regneranno la Verità, l'Amore.

Salve Salve Roma, patria eterna di memorie,
Cantano le tue glorie mille palme e mille altari.
Roma degli apostoli
Madre e guida dei Redenti,
Roma luce delle genti, il mondo spera in te!
Salve Salve Roma, la tua luce non tramonta,
Vince l'odio e l'onta lo splendor di tua beltà.
Roma degli Apostoli
Madree guida dei Redenti,
Roma luce delle genti, il mondo spera in te!

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