Andrea Bocelli calls singing for the pope in Philly ‘a great honor’

Andrea Bocelli calls singing for the pope in Philly ‘a great honor’
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Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform on the Ben Franklin Parkway tomorrow, as part of Pope Francis’ Philly visit for the World Meeting of Families.

The pope is speaking at Independence Hall Saturday afternoon before heading to the Festival of Families party and concert on the Parkway, hosted by Mark Wahlberg.

Related: Madonna: ‘The pope and I have a lot in common’

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. In addition to Bocelli, Aretha Franklin will sing. The Philadelphia Orchestra is also on the lineup.

Related: A guide to the Festival of Families

Bocelli had this to say about his Philly visit and performing for Pope Francis:

“It is a great honor for me to be in Philadelphia, and have the possibility to sing, once again, in front of the Holy Father, thus giving my humble contribution as a fervent Catholic. St. Augustine reminds us that singing can be an extraordinary form of prayer. This is my goal, my intention: to bring the joy of praying together. Pope Francis is a blessing given to the world. I have for him a sincere, profound devotion. I think this journey represents for the United States a precious opportunity to embrace this giant, a man of God, a gift from Heaven, a point of reference and a providential source of hope for our world. The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia emphasizes the fundamental importance of the subject and of the message that this meeting of high spiritual value embodies, and that is the role of the family, meant as the primary and irreplaceable building block of society.”