Recording Artist Roberto Bignoli

By Michael K. Jones

Before the interview lets get acquainted with a little background of Roberto Bignoli. Roberto is a popular Italian Christian singer with seven albums to his credit. He sings his testimonial through music and words.

Before his conversion, during a period of personal crisis, Roberto fell into a deep depression, and it was in this dark period that he met some young people who told him of a place called Medjugorje. After visiting and praying in Medjugorje, Roberto found his life changing and discovered a new calling to Christian music. Today Roberto has performed all around the world. One of the pieces making up his collection of music is, "Concerto a Sarajevo", dedicated to the children who were victim of the wars.

Q. Why don't you begin by telling us something about yourself; such as who you are, how old you are, your childhood, and your interests and hobbies.

A. I sing and write Christian music. I am 40 years old, and was born in Novara, Italy. My family was very poor; when I was one I got polio and because my parents weren't able to afford the medical expenses, or to take care of me, I was put in a home; and I went from one home to another one till I was 15. I suffered a lot because my only desire was to be surrounded by the love of a family, to be with friends of my own age, and to be amongst the people.

Q. Roberto, how did you spend your youth?

A. My youth was very troubled and unhappy. During my years spent in the homes I acquired a distorted vision of the world. I joined the "beat generation" in search of freedom, hence I totally refused society and all its institutions. I lost nearly all contact with my family, even though deep down in my heart I wanted to go back home. I spent a brief period in prison for use of drugs.

During a period of personal crisisI rediscovered my love for music. I began doing concerts with small and big musicians, and writing songs, mostly love songs. But one day I fell into a deep depression, and it was in this dark peaceless period that I met some young people who told me: "Jesus loves you." They spoke to me of a place called Medjugorje where apparitions were supposedly happening. As they were telling me I was aware of an urgent need growing within me to go there. It was August 1984 when I went with three friends. I immediately felt at home and I felt a great need to ask for the conversion of my heart so that my life could become simple and humble like the surroundings of Medjugorje. Back home I felt that something was changing in me and I began to pray the Rosary every day and to go to daily Mass. It was through doing this that I began to understand the importance of the gift of singing and I wrote my first song entitled, "Canzone per Maria" (Song for Mary). In the beginning I was frightened by what my friends would think but in the end I felt the urge to speak of the faith and Mary's love to whomever I met.

Q. How was your relationship with your family and how is it now?

A. In the beginning it was fairly difficult because I was convinced to have been abandoned, but when I discovered the faith I learnt to love and respect them for having given me life.

Q. Tell us about your sickness. How does it affect you?

A. In itself it really isn't a problem, but it became one because of the looks and the comments of the people who met me. However, with Mary's help my handicap became God's gift, because through the suffering caused by it I discovered the value of the cross. But then, after all, everyone has a handicap, whether it be visible or invisible; and each person needs to learn to accept himself as he is.

Q. What do you think is your vocation?

A. I think that I am called to be a husband, a father and a Christian songwriter and singer.

Q. Why did you choose to sing? What does it mean for you, and what do you want to transmit to others with it?

A. I sing because I am a musician. Singing is how I express myself. My songs are born as a means to help others find God, with their words of hope, faith and love for those who suffer and for those seeking God. Singing for me has become a mission to say that God exists.

Q. Your voice is very popular, thanks in particular to your "Ballata per Maria." What it is that moves your heart when you sing for Mary?

A. "Ballata per Maria" (Ballad for Mary) is a token of love and acknowledgment for what the Blessed Virgin has done in my life. She is the universal mother who not only captured my heart, but captures the hearts of many youth. She is an infinite fount of grace and an example of humbleness and love, for which every person should bow his head in gratitude. "Ballata per Maria" became an international compilation which allowed other Christian song writers/singers to express their love for Mary by assigning all the proceeds from its sale to the children of Bosnia.

Q. Roberto, you often do concerts before crowds of young people. Have you ever thought of speaking to them from the stage to invite them to follow Jesus?

A. I think that the things of God cannot be imposed upon the youth, but can be transmitted by being an example and a witness. When I speak to people or to my public I speak of Jesus as a Father, a friend and a brother who accompanies me in my journey. This is a seed that I sow and which Jesus wants to germinate in the hearts of those who listen.

Q. To conclude, what message would you like to offer to the young people who will read this testimony; perhaps young people who have found the way but are having trouble at leaving everything behind to follow Christ?

A. To the young people I wish to say that the way which leads to Christ is the safest and the most gratifying way, even though at times it may appear to be difficult because of the renunciations and sacrifices it demands. The reason is that it goes upstream with respect to what the world offers. But don't lose courage! Instead, put the cross on your shoulders and follow it, as He did before us. On His part, God gives us all the help we need, through the sacraments, prayer, and the Gospel. These act like road signs to show us the way which leads straight to the heart of Jesus. I believe this is the most beautiful call; and I wish it upon everyone, including myself.

Roberto's email address is, RobertoBignoli@iol.it

If you would like to visit Roberto's website click here>>>>Roberto Bignoli

Roberto's CD's can be found in Medjugorje at the Shalom Bookshop.

If you would like to write Medjugorje USA