Pope Francis is releasing a rock album called ‘Wake Up!’

Pope Francis waves to the crowd at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia, the last city on his U.S. tour.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia, the last city on his U.S. tour.

(Eric Thayer / Pool Photo)

The “pope of surprises” just threw another curveball: He’s dropping an album later this year.

Pope Francis will spread his message via a Vatican-approved album titled “Wake Up!” It’s available for pre-order on iTunes.

The “prog-rock” album is a collaboration with digital distribution company Believe Digital, Rolling Stone reports. It includes excerpts from Francis’ speeches laid over a variety of music, including pop rock and Gregorian chant.

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The album debuts Nov. 27, but fans don’t have to wait until then. One track, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” can be downloaded now.

“The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you,” Francis says about two minutes into the song. “It is a duty to be vigilant, not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.”

There’s also an Easter egg of sorts for Californians, when Francis urges listeners to “Go! Go ahead!” That’s what he said during the homily he delivered at the canonization of Father Junipero Serra, the 18th century founder of nine California missions, in Washington on Wednesday, when he told worshipers to follow Serra’s motto: Siempre adelante, or “always forward.”

More than 10.3 million Christian and gospel music titles were sold in 2013, according to Nielsen, a tracking service. Although this is a small portion of the music market — 3.5% of total album sales — the genre as a whole is doing well.


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This isn’t producer Don Giulio Neroni’s first papal album. He also worked with Pope John Paul II on the album “Abbà Pater,” and with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on “Alma Mater.”

“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,” he told Rolling Stone.

The record will feature 11 songs with the pontiff speaking in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.


Twitter: @sarahparvini


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