Patti Smith Will Perform At The Vatican's Christmas Concert

The rocker was invited by Pope Francis to appear in the Concerto di Natale in Rome on December 13th.

Rocker Patti Smith will be one of the performers at the Vatican's annual Christmas concert, according to an announcement on the Concerto de Natale's official website.

AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho

Patti Smith is greeted by Pope Francis at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in 2013.

Smith, who famously met Pope Francis at a general audience in April 2013, said she is honored to have been asked to perform again. She was also a musical guest at last year's Concerto di Natale.

The concert will take place at the Auditorium Conciliazione, a venue near Vatican City, and will also feature performers such as French house music DJ Bob Sinclar and Sister Cristina Scucci, the "singing nun" who won the the 2014 season of Italy's "The Voice."

The pope extended the invitation to Smith even as an organization in Naples is asking its archbishop to block the rocker from performing at the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore in the city in December. The Catholic Portosalvo committee claimed such a performance would be "blasphemous" mere days before Smith's presence at the Vatican's Christmas concert was announced.

"As usual Pope Francis surprises everyone," the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera wrote on November 10th. "While in Naples they discuss whether or not to host a Patti Smith concert in San Giovanni Maggiore's basilica on the 9th of December, he has called the rock singer to the Vatican for the grand Christmas event."

Smith performed her hit "Because the Night" and "O Holy Night" at the Vatican's Christmas concert last year.

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This year's concert will be broadcast on Christmas Eve.