The Pontifical Hymn
On the occasion of the 1950 Holy Year, His Holiness Pius XII decided that Charles Gounod's (1818-1893) Pontifical March should become the official hymn, executed for the first time as such on 24 December 1949. The Pontifical March, as it was called by the Author (and according to some also known as Religious March), took on the new title of Pontifical Hymn, thus replacing the old Anthem composed by Vittorino Hallmayr in 1857 in the style of that period. Gounod, a man of sincere faith, had composed for the Priestly Jubilee Anniversary of His Holiness Pius IX the above-mentioned march, which was performed for the first time in his presence on 11 April 1869 by 7 military bands in Saint Peter's Square. In spite of the success, it did not
substitute the old Hallmayr's Anthem for 81 years.