Celebrating and remembering...

Concert in de Friezenkerk

Nieuws - gepubliceerd: vrijdag, 3 mei 2024 - 729 woorden

Vrij­dag­avond 3 mei vond een concert plaats van reli­gi­euze muziek door het koor Diga Maris in de kerk van de Friezen in Rome, in aanwe­zig­heid van tal van Romeinse en Neder­landse gasten. Een kort ver­slag en de toe­spraak die ik bij deze gelegen­heid heb gehou­den.

Het is een prach­tig concert gewor­den waar eenie­der lovend over was. Onder de gasten oud- minister en VVD lei­der Ed Nijpels, mevr. Maria Martens, de am­bas­sa­deur bij de Heilige Stoel, mw, Ruigrok,, mgr, K, Kasteel en vele anderen. Aarts­bis­schop Paul Gallagher sprak een harte­lijk woord waarin hij onder meer met dank­baar­heid terug keek op zijn bezoek aan Am­ster­dam. Tot slot sprak ik onderstaand woord.


Your Excellencies,
Distinguished guests,

Am­ster­dam 750 years young

First of all, I would like to thank you all very much for atten­ding this concert, which is taking place to mark a special moment: the start of the festivities surroun­ding Am­ster­dam's 750th anniversary. What is in fact being celebrated at this anniversary is the oldest written mention of the name of settle­ment that had received a dam on the Amstel River some 25 years earlier. Hence the name Am­ster­dam.

Diga Maris

I am grateful that this talented choir from St Nicholas Basilica, Diga Maris, has agreed to give this won­derful concert. The name the choir has chosen, refers to the local situation and the motto of this choir lets us know that the good ideas the choir has are bubbling up in De Zwaan, the pub where the choir often meets. Bonae sen­tentiae oriuntur in Cygno.

The history of our Capital

So we will celebrate Am­ster­dam's 750th anniversary in 2025, a year-long celebration that will begin already this year. However, there are several moments that have been of great importance for the rise of the city of Am­ster­dam. The land on which the first houses were built is said to have been given by the bishop, who was the bishop of the only diocese there was at the time, the diocese of Utrecht. Shortly after the year 1300, Am­ster­dam received city rights again from the bishop, Guy of Avesnes. Then, in the year 1345, the Eucha­ristic miracle took place that made Am­ster­dam a well-known place of pilgrimage, even the emperor came to visit the shrine. Am­ster­dam became a religious centre with more than 20 monasteries. In 1489, the emperor granted the right to wear the imperial crown above the city's coat of arms. In the gran­ting of this right, the finan­cial support the city had given played a role, but also its religious significance as a Miracle City.

Our Lord in the attic

During the time of the Reformation, Am­ster­dam adhered to Catholic principles for as long as possible. After the year 1578 catholic religion became illicit. The hid­den church "Our Lord in the attic" still bears witness to the centuries when Catholics in Am­ster­dam were able to continue practi­sing their faith, albeit in a hid­den way. Much has changed. Now Am­ster­dam has become one of the most inter­na­tio­nal cities of the globe. They are all citizens of Am­ster­dam, brothers and sisters, "fra­telli tutti"; we also pray for the good coexistence of all.

Commemoration of the victims

We are here at a special moment. Tomorrow, the 4th of May, we commemorate the victims of war and violence, especially the many victims of the Second World War. We remember with deep respect all those who gave their lives figh­ting for our freedom and maintai­ning peace and security.

 It is sad that the King's Commissioner of our province, Arthur van Dijk, who had wanted to be with us, had to choose to stay at home because of the security situation. Protests because of the war in Palestine and anti-Semitism are likely to occur. Let us pray for peace, that acts of violence will stop and peace negotiations will be made possible.

Words of thanks

I am extremely grateful to His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher for his highly appreciated presence and your warm and beautiful Words. I thank Her Excellency the Ambassador, Ms Anne­mieke Ruigrok, and her staff, for facilita­ting this event and for her great and cordial commit­ment.

Thank you all! We look forward to mee­ting the Holy Father tomorrow, which is a great honour, and to the Holy Masses celebrated here on Sunday and in St Peter's tomorrow. May God's goodness bless the city of Am­ster­dam, all who live and work there and all of us.

Thank you all!


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