Blind and autistic fourteen-year-old singer Christopher Duffley, who became a YouTube sensation when his heartfelt rendition of "Open the Eyes of My Heart" garnered more than 8.7 million views worldwide, is slated to perform during the highly anticipated Festival of Families event celebrating the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Organizers expect it to be one of the most joyful and historic events to ever take place in the City of Brotherly Love, and hundreds of thousands are expected to gather for the concert and a pre-program parade to see the Holy Father up close.
Other performers at the Festival of Families will include Academy Award-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg, GRAMMY award winner Aretha Franklin, New York Times best-selling author and popular comedian Jim Gaffigan, classical soprano Jackie Evancho, contemporary Christian recording artist Matt Maher, popular vocal band Sister Sledge and many others.
Duffley is scheduled to perform on the Logan Square stage on Saturday, September 26 at 1:24 p.m. ET. He will perform "Open the Eyes of My Heart" in five different languages in celebration of the unity and faith that we all share as families. Duffley will be joined onstage by his sister, Grace, who is also featured on his newly released CD, Believer. The performance will be shown on up to 40 Jumbotrons across the Francis Festival Grounds.
"This trip is really important because Pope Francis is going to be there!" says Duffley.
"God has used Christopher and our family to touch the world in a special and unimaginable way," says Christine Duffley, Christopher's mother. "With over 8 million collective views on YouTube, Christopher's music has taken on new meaning for us and all who hear the voice of a child whose autism and blindness point us to what really matters in life."
Since the August 2015 release of his Believer CD and his standing ovation-inspiring performance at Fenway Park during the CD's street week, Christopher Duffley has been featured by such high-profile media outlets as the Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, MLB.com, The Bleacher Report, ABC News, Fox News,The Boston Globe, InsideEdition.com and Telemundo New York . During the past year, he has also been featured by The Huffington Post, The Blaze, among many others. Believer is currently available online from Duffley's website, christopherduffley.com, and other online stores via digital download. For more information about Duffley and Believer, visit christopherduffley.com, like on Facebook (facebook.com/ChristopherDuffley) or follow on Twitter ( @ChrisDuffley).