Pedro Daniel Oliveira
Composer and O CLARIM contributor Maestro Aurelio Porfiri is honoring Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on his 90th birthday with the Missa Sancti Joseph (Mass in honor of St Joseph). The booklet contains Porfiri’s compositions published in our English supplement early this year. It includes an introduction by O CLARIM Director Fr José Mario O Mandía and a dedication translated into Latin by one of the foremost world Latinists Fr Roberto Spataro.
“The intention and motivation are those of paying homage to a giant of Catholic thought and theology as Benedict XVI is, a Pope that — as Sandro Magister told me in an interview published in O CLARIM — will be really recognized as a giant in the years to come,” Maestro Aurelio Porfiri told us.
“So I, as a musician, felt an obligation to offer ideally to him this short Mass in honor of Saint Joseph, his patron Saint, to acknowledge the influence and importance that his pontificate has had in the lives of many, including mine,” he added.
The Mass is for three voices (alto, tenor and bass), and can be sung by a group of 30 singers, but also by only three people, one per voice, he explained. “Of course, when I composed the Mass I also cannot forget the importance of the devotion to Saint Joseph in Macau, the Seminary, so rich in history, is entrusted to him.”
Fr Mandía said “this little gift is a token of our gratitude to the Pope Emeritus, who showed us in his writings and discourses how reason and faith go together.”
“Moreover, he also showed in his writings and in his own life what it means to live out this faith. I think this is what makes Benedict’s testimony powerful and relevant, ” he stressed.
Since O CLARIM has been publishing Maestro Porfiri’s pieces each week for about two years now , which includes those of the booklet, he also knows that there are some people who collect them. “The idea of giving a gift that is meaningful both to Macau and to Pope Emeritus Benedict thus came up,” he mentioned.
Maestro Porfiri was an associate professor at the Inter-University Institute of Macau, now University of Saint Joseph, and director of choral activities of Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary School and collaborator of Our Lady of Fatima Girl’s School.