In 1994, Jose Feliciano was invited to participate in a Christmas celebration at the Vatican, the “2° Concerto di Natale in Vaticano.” Artists including Amii Stewart, Andrea Bocelli and Renata Scotto, joined him in the televised event broadcast from Vatican City by Rai Uno. Jose performed his already-famous acoustic-percussive rendition of ‘The Little Drummer Boy” and (of course) “Feliz Navidad.”
During his visit to Rome, between interviews and rehearsals, Jose and his Friend & Manager at the time, Peter Zaffina (may he rest in peace), were granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II.
Jose and Peter, along with the other Artists who were a part of the telecast, were escorted to the Papal Palace and invited to be seated. Pope John Paul II entered the room and greeted each one generously with his time and attention. When Jose was introduced to the Holy Father, he asked Jose where he was from, whereby he answered, “I was born in Puerto Rico.” Their conversation continued in Spanish.
Jose had brought a CD of his most recent music to share with John Paul and three small, wooden rosaries to be blessed for each of his children, Melissa, Jonathan and Michael, who would be born 7 months later. The Pope told Jose that he enjoyed his music and placing his hand on Jose’s head, blessed him. He blessed the rosaries and thanked him and Peter for joining him that day.
Today we celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II.
Dziękuję, Holy Father, for your dedication and sacrifice and dziękuję for your love.