Siobhán Armstrong is one of Europe’s foremost historical harpists and plays an extensive collection of copies of medieval, Renaissance and multi-row baroque harps. We first met Siobhan in May 2011 when she performed in our chapel as part of the Galway Early Music Festival just one day after she played for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Trinity College during their State visit to Ireland. Although she generally plays only early music with the historical harp she graciously agreed to accompany 'Calm the Soul' and the delightful and subtle sound of her Irish harp can be heard especially in the Interlude of the song.
Her great passion is encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp. Siobhán performs and records 15th- to 18th-century music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical musicians, and also collaborates with some of Ireland’s best traditional Irish music performers including Ronan Browne. She herself plays a replica of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp — the national emblem of Ireland — strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann: The Harp of Ireland, was released in 2004.
The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me. I took it with me to the See of Peter and in a sense it forms the image of this Pontificate.