The Zaldivar family got a tip last week that famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli may be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Easter Sunday for a repeat performance of last year’s surprise visit.
So instead of having brunch as they typically do on Easter, the Zaldivar family went to the Miami Beach church for Mass, hoping to hear Bocelli’s angelic voice.
Skipping their mid-morning breakfast paid off. About 45 minutes into the service, Bocelli appeared.
Bocelli, sitting in the front row, was led to the pulpit and began singing Panis Angelicus, a Latin hymn that translates to Bread of Angels, to a packed church.
“His voice is so amazing,” said Raquel Puig Zaldivar. “He exudes peace and tranquility.”
Bocelli, who first surprised the church last Easter and then again for Christmas Mass, sang one song before Communion and later left near the altar, Puig Zaldivar said.
Mary Ross Agosta, the communications director for the Archdiocese of Miami, said on Sunday that “it seems that when he is in the area for the holiday he does worship at St. Patrick’s.”
The church holds about 1,000 worshipers, she said, with standing room for another 300.
While the Easter visit was unannounced, word got around that Bocelli might make an appearance, Puig Zaldivar said.
Puig Zaldivar’s son Roberto snapped a picture of Bocelli while the family sat and appreciated the performance. His sister, also named Raquel, listened from outside because there was no more room inside the mid-Beach church on Garden Avenue. She later posted the picture on Twitter.
“Easter is a time to celebrate and rejoice,” said Roberto‘s wife, Cristy Zaldivar. “Having him there added to it. His voice was angelic.”
For Puig Zaldivar, sharing the Mass with her family and Bocelli was special.
“It was truly the best Easter gift I could have ever asked for.”