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Notre Dame du Laus

Fidelity of the famous artists Haydn and Mozart, to pray the rosary

Haydn and Mozart were sincere Christians. We find in their lives as much as in their music that order, that nobility, that sweetness and that purity which make true religious music. The great Haydn was not afraid to reveal what he considered to be the main secret of his inspiration, which was always serene and fortunate. When he felt himself getting cold or stopped in front of insurmountable difficulties, he would get up from the piano, recite his rosary, and immediately receive from prayer the gift he wanted to offer to God. At the head of all his scores he wrote: In nomine Domini, and at the end of each one: Laus Deo.

Mozart, the Raphael of music, marvelous from childhood and dead on an incomparable summit of masterpieces, when he had barely reached the maturity of youth; Mozart, bearing the triple burden of humiliations, poverty and genius, in Salzburg, under the tyranny of a vulgar patron; in Paris, in the society of Grimm; in Vienna, in the seductions of success, did not cease for a moment, through his sorrows and his joys, to be a humble and fervent Catholic. He prayed, he received communion, he prayed his rosary. After the success of his symphony at the spiritual concert of the Opera, he recited the rosary in thanksgiving. He composed an ex-voto mass for the happy deliverance of his pregnant wife; he wrote to his father: “As death, if we consider it well, is the goal of our life, I have, for several years, become so familiar with this true friend of man, that its image, far from frightening me, has nothing but sweetness and consolation! I thank my God for granting me the grace to know death as the key to our true beatitude. I never go to bed without thinking that, young as I am, I may not get up again the next day; and yet, no one who knows me would claim that in the routine of life I am morose or sad; I thank my Creator every day for this happiness, and wish it with all my heart to all men, my brothers.”

This tomorrow that Mozart awaited with such male courage was not long in coming, and found him as great in soul and faith as he had been in genius. Mozart left life as a theologian and a philosopher, smiling at God and not deigning to give the world a moment’s regret. “I want you to see me die,” he said to his sister-in-law, charging her to support and console his wife and six children. Such was the man of whom we can still say what Haydn, his immortal friend, said: “I declare before God and as an honest man, that I hold Wolfgang Mozart to be the greatest composer I have ever heard of.”

(Father Huguet)

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