Thanks to Franz Schubert for this magnificent song. While 'Ave Maria' is widely considered a church song, it is actually a secular art song. It is tells the story about a young maiden who implores Mary to give her comfort in her time of distress. I always hear this piece around Christmas time and think it is absolutely beautiful - whether hearing a man or woman sing it. I was pleased to find that Andrea Bocelli sings it so amazingly. Enjoy.