He’s sold more than 80 million albums worldwide, so there’s a good chance you’ve heard Andrea Bocelli’s incredible operatic singing voice before. But did you know he’s a practicing Catholic?

And he recently opened up about a spiritually impactful visit to the Holy Land.

[A]s a man of faith, a Christian, a practicing Catholic,” he explained on Facebook, “when I was in Jordan I felt the need to express my devotion, praying at the site where our Lord Jesus was baptised…”

He went to say that “the air is filled with sacredness and the water flows with spirituality and prayer,” and the whole site preserves “the memory of an old but still relevant encounter that has changed the history of mankind and the world.”

Andrea Bocelli, Facebook

Bocelli’s Catholic mother was advised by her doctor to abort him during her pregnancy, since the doctor expected the child to have a disability. His mother opted to not abort him, which served as an inspiration to the doctor to reconsider his views on abortion. But the doctor was right: Bocelli was born with poor eyesight that eventually led to blindness.

But that hasn’t stopped Bocelli from being an incredible gift to the world! Since he couldn’t see, he took up singing, which has touched the lives of millions of people all around the world.

Bocelli himself was an agnostic for many years, until reading the works of Leo Tolstoy led him to return to the Catholicism of his youth.

Have you ever visited the Holy Land? Let us know in the comments!

[See also: If Jesus Had No Sin, Then Why Was He Baptized? Here’s the Radical Answer]

[See also: Watch Andrea Bocelli’s Amazing Performance for Pope Francis]

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