(Pagani, Italy) During this time of coronavirus epidemic, while on the one hand, we are experiencing the nostalgia of our being Church which unfortunately does not meet in assembly for the rendering of grace (= Eucharist), on the other hand, we try in every way to feel spiritually united by raising to the Lord “spiritual psalms, hymns and songs” (Col 3:16). Our Community of Pagani, where the sacred remains of our Father St. Alphonsus rest, as the president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Bassetti, had the opportunity to affirm in a letter addressed to all diocesan priests and religious of Italy, although with pain celebrating the Eucharist without the people, ideally puts on the altar the sufferings and hopes of all, brothers and devotees of our Saint.
So at the end of each morning celebration, which is broadcasted by the local TV, our Community addresses, through a song, making itself the spokesperson of all people a prayer to ward off the coronavirus.
Also in this circumstance, it was the confrere Fr. Paolo Saturno who, as the son of St. Alphonsus and sensing the wound of the man of our time, making available all his professionalism and musical talent, wrote, composed and set to music this prayer.
The prayer-song consists of twenty-three verses, at the end of each one we invoke the Lord’s mercy and that He listens to us. As a Redemptorist, the Master Fr. Paul, could not help but turn to the Saints Alphonsus, Gerard, Clement, John and our Blessed to intercede for us (verse 19). And inevitably immediately afterward (verse 20), we find the entrustment of the new day to our most sweet Mother Mary, so that her motherly gaze may comfort her children.
From a purely musical point of view, Fr. Paul highlighted the liturgical-responsible form with an essential, clear, effective, intense melody with an Alphonsian flavor.
The piano accompaniment, which in the arpeggio terzinato slightly recalls the settings of the Schubertian Ave Maria, supports the melody with clear and exhaustive chords.
P. Paul shows that he had well assimilated the teaching of St. Alphonsus who, as a great expert of the staff, knew how to make prayer accessible to the people with direct and heartfelt melodies, which were immediately printed in the minds and hearts of the faithful to better praise God.
Frs. Saturno Antonio C.Ss.R. – Strippoli Filippo C.Ss.R.