note to the English-speaking reader: this article was written to explain the significance of the Sanremo Festival of Christian Song. Contemporary Christian Music is not as well developed in Italy as it is in Anglo-Saxon countries. The Sanremo Festival of Christian Song was organized at the same time and place as the Sanremo Italian Song Festival, the most important musical event in Italy, followed by 65% share on TV, some 14 million people. This caused controversy, many felt it was a way to condemn the Sanremo Festival of immorality, as if to say that the “secular” festival had no right to be considered by believers and should be boycotted in favor of the Christian festival offered as an alternative. But the controversy has no reason to exist, as I tried to explain in the article.


“Give thanks to the Lord on the harp;
offer praise to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings with joyful shouts.
For the word of the Lord is true,
and he is faithful in everything he does”. Psalm 33


The invitation to sing to the Lord and to praise him, even using musical instruments, recurs many times in Sacred Scripture, which contains the book of Psalms, designed precisely to be sung. Monks and nuns sing them at various times of the day. Sacred music, to which countless masterpieces of classical music belong, resounds in the churches. Then there is modern liturgical music, or songs designed for the liturgy, but in a modern style. But even more extensive is the panorama of Contemporary Christian and Gospel Music. This is also music that is not primarily intended to be performed in a liturgy, but is inspired by contemporary musical genres and has lyrics with a faith-inspired message that is almost always explicit.

This is not to say that mainstream music songs cannot also be “Christian”. There are very famous songs that have clear references to the faith, just think of “Where the streets have no name” by U2, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, “Let it be” by The Beatles and we could continue at length including love songs because, after all, love for others and love between man and woman are deeply Christian themes.

Contemporary Christian music, however, also exists as a specific genre and there is no opposition to other genres. It can be expressed in different sub-genres: gospel, rock, pop, rap, country, metal, dance, progressive, alternative…. What unites it are the lyrics that refer to the Christian faith. The Sanremo Festival of Christian Song wants to be a showcase for this kind of music.

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A Christian reflection on illness, what’s an orphan disease? (UBTF mutation disease)

I recently met a woman with a daughter who has a rare genetic disease that affects about 20 people worldwide. With great dedication and courage the mother has set up a foundation to fund research for this disease (which is called “UBTF mutation”), since the big pharmaceutical companies are not interested in investing in a disease that affects so few people.
I proposed to celebrate a Mass for the girl and the people affected by this disease at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and made a video to ask for prayers and offerings that, whoever wishes, can donate here:

The foundation promotes research for the identification of a therapy, which is carried out by some of the most important laboratories in the world, among those the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the Jackson laboratory in the United States. This foundation has no collateral costs or salaries of employees to pay, since the secretariat is managed by the girl’s mother and the money – which by statute can not be used for personal needs- go directly to fund the various research projects coordinated by the foundation, that’s to say by the girl’s mother who is in direct contact with researchers for the experiments currently underway. The results of the research and the aims of the foundation can be found in detail in the website link above.
There remain unrealized projects, such as funding a researcher to study the disease as his main interest.
As in many fields of research, any progress in the treatment of this disease may also benefit other diseases and also provide a model of possible research for those diseases that are sadly defined as “orphan” or abandoned by the research, because of the poor economic interests at stake.

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The Only One Who Saves: Remembering the Victims of September 11

Among the people who were still inside the Twin Towers at the time of the collapse, that infamous September 11, 2001, only 2 survived.
This impressive documentary tells the story of one of them, Pasquale Buzzelli. 

He was still on the 18th floor of the building and collapsed along with it. The mass of 80 floors of debris above him and a 60-meter jump into the void were no match for the One who can do everything and evidently performed a miracle – but, as with any miracle, someone can always delude himself that it was “a mere chance“.

After the flight, Pasquale was unconscious for a few hours and woke up sitting on a pile of debris, a few feet above the ground, surrounded by rubble and flames, unable to move.

Nearly 3,000 civilians and 343 firefighters died in the 9/11 attacks, not counting the injured and those-about 40,000-who developed illnesses due to exposure to the toxic dust generated after the collapse. The firefighters-true heroes-had rushed to save people and were themselves victims of the collapse, along with their chaplain, the Franciscan Mychal Judge, the first verified victim of the tragedy, who was there to assist them.

Other firemen arrived after the collapse and, on their own initiative, without superior orders, ventured into the rubble in search of survivors. That’s how firefighter Michael Morabito found Pasquale and was able to get him to safety.

Pasquale’s pregnant wife Louise thought her husband had died in the collapse but instead saw him come home that same evening. The daughter that was born was named Hope. Continue reading “The Only One Who Saves: Remembering the Victims of September 11”

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An Omer of love for the neighbor

Just after Easter, I received a gift of a “barley omer” from Yisca Harani, a Jewish woman who is much more than an ordinary tour guide. She specializes in Christianity and gives seminars and lectures as well as being a university level researcher.
For anyone interested in Israel and Christianity I recommend following her website ( and Facebook page ( Her Jewish perspective in explaining Christianity is always incredibly enriching.
Yisca, with a group of participants in one of her very popular seminars, came to visit me and offering me a barley omer, she made a surprising and courageous gesture towards me, let’s see why.
The omer (“sheaf”) is an ancient biblical volumetric measurement of grains. On the day following the Sabbath during Passover – on the second day of Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread) an omer of barley was offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.

“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD”. (Leviticus 23) 
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Storm at the Sea of Galilee


On Ash Wednesday I went to Capernaum. In the video you see the dock of this town of fishermen, home of the Apostles John, James and Matthew (Peter and Andrew, as probably Philip, had also moved there from their earlier home of Bethsaida). Jesus, at the beginning of his public ministry, moved from Nazareth into Peter’s home in Capernaum, where so many episodes reported in the Gospels took place.


 Today you can visit the ruins of this ancient Jewish city, the Synagogue where our Lord preached and a Church built on the house of Peter, where Jesus was living. The present-day pier on which I walk is built on top of the authentic pier of Jesus’ time, which forms its foundation.
Such a storm was certainly enough to get the boats of the time into trouble, as evidenced by the Gospels which tell of the famous storms on the lake, miraculously calmed by Jesus.
I hope the shower was good for my cleansing and even if it wasn’t I had a lot of fun!!! 

I attach also my social accounts where I post usually the same stuff I post on the blog







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Taylor Swift prays to Jesus too


“One world: Togheter at Home” is the name of the event organized by many artists led by Lady Gaga to comfort people in this time of emergency and raise funds. The timetables were designed for America, in Israel in fact the highlight was on air at 2 am… So, given the impossible time, this morning, after having done my usual prayers, as a good music lover I went to see if they had made it available on You Tube for those who missed it.

Of course I didn’t put up with the endless 8 hours of the broadcast, but I went to see what interested me.

In the end, penultimate, sang Taylor Swift who had chosen her beautiful song “Soon you’ll get better” dedicated to her parents, about the battles they have had with cancer, and specifically on her mother’s latest diagnosis.

The artists presented themselves in different ways: playful or worried, joking or serious and even a little tried. And we are all able to see when someone’s displeasure is true or it’s a pose….

Taylor was admirable, she was really sad and in a somewhat resigned tone and with a simple and honest attire she sang this song, sketching a shy smile at the end and showing a sincere suffering, a sign of her hypersensitive and compassionate soul. This was an appropriate way of showing closeness to those who in this emergency have experienced real tragedies such as the loss of loved ones, or went bankrupt and have nothing to eat.

To my surprise, while listening to the song, Taylor mentioned Jesus expressly, making an explicit profession of faith, here are some of her lyrics:

Holy orange bottles (the medicine bottles I guess), each night I pray to you

Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too

And I say to you

Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better


It is impressive to see how this time of struggle has led many to Jesus.

For if anyone is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” Mk 8:38. “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before God’s Angels” Lk 12:8

For this beautiful profession of faith Taylor will have her reward. Contrary to her collection of Grammy Awards …. which are also beautiful and deserve all our respect, the rewards that Jesus gives us are eternal and will never go out of fashion nor will there be anyone who bypasses them in the hit parade. It took just one word, just more than a syllable, to mention the name of Jesus, to transform a beautiful song into something eternal.

And if from the title of Taylor’s latest album “Lover”, from the flagship song which describes the complex and painful story with a “lover”, -with the clear desire to transform this relationship into something stable though- … one would not have expected a particular devotion, this story confirms instead that no one has the right to judge the faith of another. In the depths of every man, in fact, even when everything would suggest otherwise, there is a yearning for the Absolute that no one can suppress.

This singer, with a simple word, has offered a beautiful testimony and we too can do the same thing in our lives, humble and hidden, sometimes gray, but equally important in the eyes of God. The testimonies of believers, in fact form an invisible chain, which produces a divine symphony and attracts others. And if seeing a famous person who turns to Jesus strikes us, we should reflect on the fact that each of us has met less conspicuous people in life who have spent their lives for God, perhaps your grandparents or your parents, or any other person who has offered us a testimony of faith, and this should already be enough to convince us that trusting in Jesus is the best thing we can do.


Simon Dewey - Daughter Arise, Taylor Swift prays Jesus
Jesus heals a young girl      (S. Dewey, Daughter Arise)


The Lord waits for us to turn to Him, waits patiently, and too many people live an existence without him, depriving themselves of the strength of his consolation, until the time comes to return.




And there is even more beautiful news here: if someone wants to talk to us, we are happier if he is a famous or important person. God does not do this, because

man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” 1Sam 16:7

As soon as we turn to him, Jesus loves us all with exactly the same immense love. Indeed, he prefers the smallest, the humble and those who have suffered most, those who have been rejected and therefore have a special place in his heart. He prefers them, however, in a mysterious way: if we think that after all we cannot be counted among these little ones we do not have the right to feel excluded, in fact his love is immense. My immense how much is: 5 or 10?! And what is your immense: 20 or 30? Where there is something immense, nothing can be measured and no one lacks anything, indeed there is a total overabundance for each.

God is the only one capable of encompassing and embracing everything and everyone, capable of encompassing and embracing Taylor Swift, you, me and every other person who has loved and even rejected him.



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