Thursday, May 11, 2006

Remarkable Boy

With the help of Cardinal Marc Oulette a nine-year-old boy from the Quebec City area lived his dream of singing for the Pope on Thursday in Rome.

Jérémy Gabriel, who suffers from a rare syndrome that causes facial disfigurement and deafness, sang unaccompanied in a clear, true voice for a small group that included Pope Benedict XVI.

The song was Je louerai l'Éternel, which means "I will praise God."
The boy later had a private audience at the Vatican with the Pope, who hugged him and gave him a rosary.

Jérémy's parents and two sisters accompanied him to Rome for the occasion.

The boy had wanted to sing for the pontiff since he watched the funeral of Pope John Paul II on television last year and saw Benedict being elected as his successor.

Born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, the boy has had several operations to restore his hearing. He is frail and must receive blood transfusions every two weeks.

Jérémy has already made headlines by singing the national anthem before a Montreal Canadiens game and by performing with Céline Dion.

Jérémy's audience with the Pope took place just before the papal blessing of the Quebec-made work of art entitled The Ark of the New Covenant at the Vatican.

Watch the video of the event here

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