It is also nearing the one-year anniversary of the Mass last year in Rome (May 1), which helped bring Pope John Paul II closer to sainthood.
An estimated 1.5 million attended last year's beatification
ceremony in Rome for the beloved pontiff, making it one of the largest ever of its kind.
Now, the city of Chicago, home to the largest population of Polish citizens outside Warsaw, will open its arms to honor Pope John II. This time, the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Chorus will help do the honors at the show, which is to take place at Orchestra Hall in Symphony Center on April 23. The special concert announcement was made recently.
According to the Chicago Sun Times
, the idea for the concert came from Sir Gilbert Levine, an American conductor. He, they note, performed numerous times for the pope at the Vatican and around the world. He came up with the idea for the concert - and its location, they report.
"Chicago was incredibly close to John Paul’s heart," Levine said. He made these and other comments at the press conference at The Arts Club of Chicago.
For those who have followed the life and death of Pope John II, one might want to take a look at the date for the show once more (April 23). It comes in April and it was that month in which he died, too. John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 and his funeral was April 8. The normal waiting period for the process of sainthood was waived and the cause was opened on June 28, 2005. The beatification Mass last year was held on May 1.