As Pope Francis embarks on his historic visit to the United States, His Holiness will spread his message of hope, faith and unity in the form of a prog-rock-infused album titled Wake Up! this November. The Vatican-approved LP, a collaboration with Believe Digital, features the Pontiff delivering sacred hymns and excerpts of his most moving speeches in multiple languages paired with uplifting musical accompaniment ranging from pop-rock to Gregorian chant. Wake Up! arrives November 27th, with the iTunes pre-order now available with an instant download of “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!,
On Wake Up!, Pope Francis speaks to the listener in Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese over 11 tracks to address issues like peace, dignity, environmental concerns and helping those most in need. For the album, the Pope’s powerful messages were placed in the musical hands of Wake Up!‘s producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni.
“For many years, I’ve been the producer and the artistic director of albums by the Pope. I had the honor to work with John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis,” Neroni tells Rolling Stone. “As in the past, for this album too, I tried to be strongly faithful to the pastoral and personality of Pope Francis: the Pope of dialogue, open doors, hospitality. For this reason, the voice of Pope Francis in Wake Up! dialogues music. And contemporary music (rock, pop, Latin etc.) dialogues with the Christian tradition of sacred hymns.”
The Argentinean-born Pope Francis, the first Pope born outside of Europe, has reignited a Catholic base and inspired millions outside his own religious denomination with his selfless, unifying messages that encourage climate change protection, assistance for the homeless and his hope for equality for all, even in the case of hot-button issues like same-sex marriage and immigration.
It’s Pope Francis’ belief that every person should be treated with love and respect, a message that has made him universally loved after critics chastised the Catholic Church for alienating its base and the world outside the Vatican with hardened views.