Rome, Italy, Sep 8, 2020 / 09:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Under the nearly 2,000-year-old dome of Rome’s Pantheon and above the relics of early Christian martyrs, the melodies of Johann Sebastian Bach and other composers are being played on the organ this month in an effort to use beauty to reconnect people with the mystery of God.
The Pantheon’s International Organ Festival seeks to create an artistic program that is both catechetical and an entryway to the mystery of Christ, according to the priests organizing the event.
“God is the perfection of beauty and every time man realizes something beautiful he participates in a certain way in the mystery of God,” Msgr. Franco Sarzi Sartori said Sept. 5 at the first in a series of concerts taking place this month.
“Music elevates the soul and directs it to sublime heights. This raising of the soul towards God is even easier and more evident because looking up to the dome where the notes blend and harmonize we see the sky, the sky of Rome, witness to so much beauty.”
The Pantheon itself was a pagan temple that was renowned for its architecture. It was transformed into the Basilica of Santa Maria ad Martyres by Pope Boniface IV in 609 A.D. At that time, the relics of early Christian martyrs were transferred from the Roman catacombs to the basilica.