The red priest

Bragora Church

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A woman was lying in bed, her face was contorted by pain. She was not alone, a woman was sitting at her bed. Suddenly a shrill scream was breaking the silence of the room and the walls began to shake. It was not the voice of the woman, but the voice of a child.

A newborn, covered in blood and with red hair, was lying onhis mothers breast and breathing heavily. The chances of survival were low.

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”,whispered the midwife while pouring water over the small delicate head.

14 years later the same red headed boy began an apprenticeship as a priest. His real passion though was the music and for him there was nothing more beautiful than playing the violin. Now and then he could even stand in for his father in the famous orchestra of Saint Mark’s Basilica. His parents though balked at a career in the musical field. They saw his future in the religious field instead and so Antonio Vivaldi began his apprenticeship as a priest:

Due to his redhair he was soon called the “Red Priest”.

Years later he was ordained in the city’s cathedral and started his new job, but he was simple not able to finish the Holy Mass: An indisposition overcame him every time he stood at the altar, his breath was missing and he felt a tightness inhis breast. Thus he decided to dedicate himself, beside his career as a priest, to his real passion and give music lessons to the girls of the orphanage

The talent of the girls, their angelic voices and the devotion of Vivaldi made the orphanage famous all over Europe. Numerous European nobles that visited Venice came to the „Pietà“ orphanage to hear the celestial voices ofthe „putti“ orphan girls and the compositions of the “Red Priest” Vivaldi.

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