Andrea Bocelli stuns Florida congregation; sings at Christmas mass

Parishioners at Miami Beach’s St. Patrick Catholic Church received an unexpected present for Christmas — the voice of internationally renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli.

The Italian opera singer arrived for afternoon mass Wednesday at 3 p.m. But was he coming to simply celebrate Christmas services or did he have something else in store?

“For Christmas, I want absolutely to have a mass, and for this occasion, if they ask me to sing, I sing, I’m happy about it,” said Bocelli, according to WSVN channel 7 News.

Who could refuse the offer of his magnificent voice?


“We had tickets to go to his concert on St. Valentine’s Day, so this is like a special treat,” said churchgoer Margarita Courtney.

WSVN reported:

He may have sold millions of albums and filled sold-out stadiums worldwide, but on Christmas Day, Bocelli said, he is just a member of the congregation sharing his God-given talent. “I’m Christian, so for me it’s the most important day of the year,” he said.

An Italian mass was held for the famous Italian tenor, widely considered to be one the best singers in the world. The congregation took out smart phones and tablets to record the occasion for posterity.

“It’s amazing; it’s truly a gift of Christmas,” said Courtney.

Watch the WSVN news report.

WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miam Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Andy McWilliams

    Muslims own liquor stores here. It doesn’t bother them to take our money.

    • Richard F

      WTF, does this have to do with Bocelli singing at a mass!?! You despicable pile of hate, rot in hell, F’Face.

      • auntielib

        I think perhaps his point is that Muslims claim to be opposed to the consumption of alcohol yet openly sell it to others, even in Florida, where this news story came from.
        Christianity, as opposed to Islam, does NOT forbide the use of alcohol.
        Thus those Muslim booze store owners are rank hypocrites.
        I think that was his point, and it relates to the story because those hypocritical Muslim store owners live in the Fort Lauderdale area.

        • avnrulz

          Meanwhile, a Muslim shop clerk in England refused to sell alcohol and her boss told his customers, basically, “too bad, I’m not firing her, she doesn’t have to sell it.”

          • auntielib

            I actually agree with that boss, even though I recognize that Islam is a heresy and a plague to society. The same treatment should be afforded Christians, of course. Which is why the attacks that the bigoted LGBT “community” launch upon people who don’t want to take their “wedding” pictures or bake “wedding” cakes for admitted homosexuals are foul, vile, and disgusting attacks by those bigoted LGBT folk.

          • avnrulz

            The sales clerk doesn’t run the business, it is not her place to decide to sell a product to a customer; if the baker doesn’t want the business from a particular customer, that is his decision for his business.

          • auntielib

            I agree that the sales clerk doesn’t run the business, but I’m just saying I agree with the boss in that he is being nice by cutting his Muslim employee some slack. I also would say, however, that the boss certainly has the right to fire that Muslim employee’s butt if he wants to. For example, the biggest lesson we have all learned from the recent bigoted behavior of the execs over at A&E is that all private employers in America now have the right to fire any homosexual employee that they catch making any kind of comment in support of homosexual behavior in public.

          • avnrulz

            No, Phil made his comments during an interview for a magazine, as well as public speaking forums, but not on the show. He explained that, according to the Biblical writings (yes, New and Old), homosexuality is wrong. However, he also said, as did Pope Francis, that it is not his plce to judge. As Jesus said, hate the sin not the sinner; they are to receive our prayers.

          • auntielib

            Yes, everything you just said is correct, and I agree completely.
            However the point I was making is that A&E, and its “Amen!” gallery over at GLAAD and in the LGBT “community” made it VERY clear that they fully support the idea that a private employer is fully justified in firing a person if that person expresses in public any personal beliefs that are contrary to those of their boss who employs them. Thus all private employers in America now have the right to fire any homosexual employee that they catch making any sort of pro-homosexual comment in public.

          • Denisa

            All private employers in America have always had the right to fire an employee for any reason, or no reason. Its their money, their company. If they need to have a personal interaction with someone for the better part of the day, have someone represent their company, keep a productive working environment for their other employees, you can be sure they take the entire situation into account. The interview process can only do so much. Sometimes the wrong people are hired and must be fired. Even if it’s because they wear too much perfume, or otherwise just don’t fit in.

          • bumpkin

            Disagree, Denisa. They USED to have the right. Now, Unions have stolen their rights.

          • Mex Seiko

            Businesses and politicians fear the Muslims for their violence. Not so with Christians as we threat no one.

          • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

            An employee who can not completely do the job should not be at the register. Business owners shouldn’t be forced to do something against their religious beliefs. Employee vs. owner are different circumstances.

          • Dot McFarlane

            If those bakeries are providing a service to the public, the law forbids them from discriminating against anyone – including members of the LGBT community.

          • auntielib

            Doesn’t a TV series also serve the public, Dot?

          • Mex Seiko

            England has fallen.

        • ocarol500

          It’s called “Kitman” – living a life in opposition to Sharia in order to further the Islamic state. As if a Christian living in rank sin could promote Christianity. False logic.

          • auntielib

            I guess what you’re saying is that Muslims will freely violate their own stated morals IF they think it will advance the cause of Islam. Yeah, I can see that – Muslims do seem to be the biggest hypocrites on the planet, outside of the disciples of the Atheist Faith.

          • Jeff Simon

            No, American Leftists are the greatest hypocrites in existance. That is because they actually belive their ideologies in defiance of all the
            evidence confronting them that is a failed system. A system that benefits no one but the ruling class. The evidence of history is wasted on the ignorant or those educated only by the “Thought Police”.

          • Kenneth M. Fisher

            auntielib,

            What you wrote above is clearly written in their Koran. To oppose them meaningfully, one must have read their Koran. It is very difficult and boring reading, but knowing it is a necessity for meaningful opposition!

            May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!

            Viva Cristo Rey!

            God bless,
            yours in Their Hearts,

            Kenneth M.
            Fisher, Founding Director

            Concerned
            Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

        • Amzdesigner

          Are we sure it is Muslims and not Hindus?

      • John S

        Such language, Richard. Control yourself.

        • Richard F

          I changed it John,, thank you sir

      • Billy Bumtrip

        Calm down, Rich. Geez!

        • Richard F

          Thank you Billy, I was out of character,, happy holidays!

          • Billy Bumtrip

            toi aussi, mon ami

      • Eileen Kuch

        Your point is well taken, Richard. Andrea Bocelli has one of the best voices worldwide; I have two CD’s of his, one Christmas, and the other, a collection of his favorite numbers (I Believe, one of his best that he sang some years ago at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy).

        I believe that Bocelli was a protege of the late famous opera singer, Luciano Pavarotti.

        • Eileen Kuch

          The fact that he is totally blind also puts Andrea Bocelli among the top of his profession.

          Bravo, Andrea; keep on singing; we all love you.

      • tedsteiner@yahoo.com

        “All Muslims living in the United States are Americans, too.” Wow, when was the law changed so drastically? It took my grandparents from Austria 20 years to get their citizenship, and my Honduran wife 10 to get hers.

        • Richard F

          Great point Ted, I don’t know the exact time frame that it takes for anyone to get their citizenship. I’m sure they are made at a higher level depending on negotiations with various countries on a case by case basis. As a child, I can remember exercises of duck and cover from an potential bomb threats based from the Cuban missile crisis from the Soviet Union. Now suddenly in my area, I discover there is a major influx of Russian immigrants (granted many have money) Some definitely are Russian Mafia connected. But does this mean that now they are here, that allowed these immigrants come here legally, should be treated as second class citizens? It’s not their fault that they came for a better life? I have various employees that came here from Cuba, got here from boat stepped on our sandy beaches and enables them to get citizen status. The craziest part, I lost an employee that was from Peru of Chinese decent, got his masters here in the US, spoke, Spanish, Mandarin and English. Immigration insisted I paid him $40 an hour (just out of college) and they made him go back. To go back with all this US college education to compete with us later. I was not happy, I told immigration, now find me someone of his caliber that could help my business on an international business. They were mum to my question. The bottom line is all though some get a pass easier than others does not give us the right to condemn one class of race over others.. (just saying)

  • matism

    Thank you, Mr. Bocelli! I hope that you and yours had a very Merry Christmas.

  • auntielib

    What a beautiful, God-given voice he has! And this news story reminded me that some of the world’s most beautiful music was written and composed by Christians, to the glory of God.

    • Biff Sarin

      What it reminds me, is that, no matter how many amazing instruments we can create, the human voice is still the original and most spectacular of them all.

      • auntielib

        Yes. Which is why the Orthodox Church (which, along with the Roman Catholic Church, can trace its roots to 33 AD) generally shuns the use of ANY musical instruments in its worship services, and their choirs sing a capella.

  • smogdew

    This man is awesome-he lost his sight in his teens in a soccer accident; went to college to study law but decided to sing instead.. Luciano Pavarotti, decades ago before he died and before Bocelli was a huge international star, said if he became ill & could not make and opera tour/performance, he wanted Bocelli to take his role……that’s how magnificent another primo singer thought he was.
    He was at the Ice Palace over a decade ago – he’s beyond compare – if you get a chance to see him, do – it will stay with you forever.

  • Amzdesigner

    Well, as a Native Miamian, it is not as ironic concerning the Muslims selling Alcohol in South Florida on Christmas Day, as it is Mr. Bocelli choosing Miami Beach, (the land of a million Jews), to shed his grace on thee…..but, what a testament to those who do not care about collecting money on Christmas (non Christian participants) but rather, enjoy and practice the Spirit of Love, sharing of Gifts and Giving back to those of us who Believe.

    • auntielib

      ??? What is “ironic” about spreading the salvific message of Jesus Christ even to the Jews?
      Do you hate Jews or something?

      • Amzdesigner

        Some of my best friends are Jews, guess you didn’t get it and are not from Miami Beach. It was meant as a “social” commentary regarding the landscape of South Florida, and how ironic that he would sing in a place that was so non-christian in population. It is a good thing and exactly the right place to spread the message of Jesus, I agree.

        • Amzdesigner

          Oh, and “salvific” is not a term I am familiar with Auntielib. Actually I ah never seen this word before. You must be very smart.

          • auntielib

            “You must be very smart.”
            —-
            Yes, I am, Amzdesigner.
            But “salvific” isn’t really all that tricky a word. It simply means “related to, or associated with, salvation.”

          • Amzdesigner

            auntielib: If you’re smart, please share your views on Obama. Would be so interesting to hear a “smart” persons take on Obama. Plus, would “auntielib” happen to be another way of saying anti-liberal?

          • auntielib

            “Plus, would “auntielib” happen to be another way of saying anti-liberal?”
            —-
            Bingo.
            Those of us who hail from the Northeast know that the word “Aunt” can be pronounced either “ahnnnt” or “ant”. I prefer the latter, and yes, liberals ARE the scum of the Earth. Barack included.

          • Amzdesigner

            BINGO ABOUT OBAMA BACK AT YA!!!!
            (Although, those of us with relatives in the mid-west pronounce it “Auntie”) Anti Liberal works for me, too. I would have bet money that you’re from the Northeast. I was born and raised in Miami and Miami Beach was the other New York. But, not the nice New Yorkers, but rather, the abusive, rude, self-absorbed, take all you got and give nothing back, kind.
            “All for me and none for you!”

  • Biff Sarin

    If anyone was looking for the spirit of Christmas, I think we just found a small part of it. Many superstars (Yes, Bocelli is a superstar in the music industry) are so self centered and elitist, yet you have this man, who has been completely blind since the age of twelve. He decided to selflessly share his god given gift with members of this church for Christmas. It is nice to see that he was also gifted with a good heart.

  • Taddle

    This is nice and all, but Bizpac Review is supposed to be the voice of the business community in Palm Beach County. 90 percent of the articles are about religion or gun control. I don’t recall seeing a single article on the proposed 1/2 cent sales tax or the possibility of placing a baseball stadium in Palm Beach Gardens and what the effect of those issues would be on business. Bizpac Review should change its name to Christians Supporting the Second Amendment Revew.

    • auntielib

      ??? You don’t think peoples’ religious beliefs play a HUGE role in people’s activities, including business activities???
      Wow.

      • Taddle

        The business community cares a lot more about potential new taxes than about who sings at a church and you should change your name to Auntieidiot.

        • auntielib

          No, the business community cares about making a profit. And most workers in the United States are both religious AND Christians, so your incessant whining over the name of this discussion forum make you the fool.
          It is socialist Democrats who care about taxing the life out of human beings.

          • Taddle

            So all you have is insults and unsubstantiated statements. Every pole I’ve ever seen shows that America is a secular nation. Even worse you seem to infer that if you’re not a Christian and religious you have no business here. Sounds like Geneva in the 1600s was the perfect place for you.

          • auntielib

            “Every pole I’ve ever seen shows that America is a secular nation.”
            ——-
            Most Poles I’ve met speak with an accent, actually.

          • Taddle

            Oh brilliant attack my voice recognition software. Lame.

          • auntielib

            “Even worse you seem to infer that if you’re not a Christian and religious you have no business here.”
            ———-
            Grammatical understanding isn’t your friend, is it!
            You *meant* to say “you seem to imply”.
            Furthermore, it is YOU who inferred what you claimed above.
            Further yet, your inference is false.

          • auntielib

            “Sounds like Geneva in the 1600s was the perfect place for you.”
            —–
            I’ve heard Geneva is a very pretty city, yes.

    • craig

      IT IS CHRISTMAS…NOT THE 4TH OF JULY

      • Taddle

        That makes no sense Craig

  • monacall

    What a beautiful voice. God Bless him

  • KeepingMom

    Perhaps I have not attended enough churches in America, or not anywhere. But in Church when did people start clapping in church? I remember listening to a monk sing in church and most of us were so moved we wouldn’t have thought to clap. And pulling out ipads and cell phones. Where was the “Christ” in that? Personally, those Church goers were more impressed with the singer than the reason they were celebrating the season. And that is sad.

    • patriciamlewis

      Agreed. I left Mass yesterday muttering “This is not a concert. This is not a concert.” Our parish is renowned for its choir and liturgy and people invariably clap after the recessional organ solo.

      • auntielib

        Yes, I would agree with you there. The Bocelli thingie was spontaneous, so I can see the applause on that one. But for the “audience” to clap every week strikes me as quite odd. But that’s one of the problems (it seems to me) for parishes that have installed pews – some parishioners may view the service as some sort of religious “performance”, rather than as liturgical worship. It’s why so many Orthodox parishes have retained the practice of the early Church – no pews – and the parishioners stand for the entire service. One is less apt to view things as “a performance” that way.

        • patriciamlewis

          Was it reallly spontaneous, though? After all, how common is it to have an Italian Mass? A Spanish one, yes, but Italian?

          • auntielib

            The applause was quite spontaneous, yes.
            Italian Mass isn’t unusual either. The early Christians traveled to Italy, among other places.
            And no, I’m not a Roman Catholic. I’m just reporting the accurate historical record, concerning the Divine Liturgy being served in Italian, that’s all.
            Good questions though, Patricia.

          • patriciamlewis

            I just checked St. Pat’s website and Italian was scheduled for 3 p.m. I knew Spanish was likely, but I was surprised that Italian was listed. Perhaps that’s why he went to that Mass! I’m a convert to Catholicism who grew up on Miami Beach, which was in the old days, nearly 90% Jewish. My family were atheist Jews.

          • auntielib

            I’m a convert to Orthodoxy, who grew up in the rather “liberal” and “progressive” (more accurately “socialist” or “fascist”, actually) northeast (near Boston) and my family were well-meaning Protestants Patricia.

          • patriciamlewis

            How interesting! I’d be Orthodox if I hadn’t met Jesus through the Catholic Church. I sure hope we can reunite at some point! I’m in the Boston area.

          • auntielib

            Patricia, I’m a great fan of Chesterton (as I suspect you are) and I have thought the same about him – I suspect he would have converted from Atheism to Orthodoxy, rather than to Roman Catholicism, except at the time of his conversion Orthodoxy was rather unknown in the West.
            I share with you your desire that Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy (the two historical manifestations of the orthodox Christian faith) be united.
            I spent most of my life in the Boston area.
            I currently live elsewhere, and though there are *some* things about liberal/socialist/Boston that I miss, there really isn’t much.

          • tedsteiner@yahoo.com

            Gratifying to see you and Auntie are both believers, in the Boston area. I was up there from Atlanta a year ago to do some genealogy work, and most of the men resembled Bahney Fwank and the women Elizabeth Lying Lips Warren.

        • Dot McFarlane

          In that case, I’ll stay away from that church as I physically wouldn’t be able to stand for the entire service.

    • craig

      YOU HAVE NOT ATTENDED CHURCH ENOUGH…TAKING PICTURES WAS NOT A PROBLEM …SOMETHING MOST CHRISTIANS WOULD WANT TO DO TO MEMORALIZE THE MOMENT IN A TRIBUTE TO CHRIST BY A GREAT SINGER…JUST SAYING

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      This was a once in a lifetime event for this congregation. The clapping was spontaneous. I would be curious to know why so many people had IPads in church.

    • auntielib

      Mom, iPads can be very helpful. For example, I have the Orthodox Study Bible (it’s an iPhone app, but it works fine on the higher-resolution iPads also) on my iPad. Has the daily readings from Holy Scripture, as well as all the footnotes and commentaries, plus both the Morning and Evening prayers, plus several plans for reading through all of Holy Scripture in a year. And only $10, versus $20 for the printed version.

  • AnnaGraceS

    Andrea Bocelli is one of exceedingly beautiful talent. He will be in the Heavenly Choir and I will listen to him there. I love his voice and thank God that I have ears to hear him sing. How awesome that he sang for these Parishioners of Miami Beach on this
    Christmas Day!!