Tag Archives: Ava Maria

The ‘Holy See’ National Anthem, i.e., Pontifical Anthem, Charles Gounod’s ‘Marche Pontificale’.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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Click to listen to the anthem, as a YouTube video, played by the Prague Castle Guard & Police Orchestra.

It was played at the White House, on Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, 2015, when Pope Francis was being welcomed by President Obama. It is an anthem that is not familiar to many in that it does not get played at sporting events, e.g. the Olympics.

That it was referred to by U.S. media as the Holy See national anthem, though not incorrect per se, was misleading. The ‘Holy See’ is not a nation so it doesn’t have a national anthem. The anthem is a Pontifical Anthem for the pope. It was composed in 1869 by French composer Charles-François Gounod [1818 – 1893] best known for his rendition of the ‘Ava Maria’.

Wikipedia has a good entry for the Pontifical Anthem. Check it out.