historical importance of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit to the city, noting that the Holy Father values the Church of the Holy Family because it “corresponds to what a church should be theologically and liturgically.”.- The Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, underscored the
“The Pope’s apostolic visit will be an authentic gift from God to confirm us in our faith, intensify our hope and urge us on in love,” the cardinal told Analysis Digital.
Cardinal Sistach emphasized the architectural beauty of the “Sagrada Familia” or Church of the Holy Family—created by Servant of God Antonio Gaudi—as well as its rich biblical and catechetical significance. “The empty temple is impressive enough to all for its beauty, but I think that in order to contemplate it in all its fullness we must exercise its specific purpose: the celebration of the liturgy,” he said.
The cardinal announced that November 7, 2010, the day of the consecration, “will be an historic extraordinary event to which everyone is invited.” “The words of Benedict XVI come to mind, when he said, ‘When the faith is especially celebrated in the liturgy, it encounters art and a profound understanding is created, because both can and desire to speak of God, making the invisible visible’.”
During the interview, Cardinal Sistach also mentioned the Christian faith of Gaudi, “who had a copy of the book ‘L L’Année Liturgique’ by Dom Gueranger, the Abbot of Solesmes, on his nightstand.”
The Holy Family “greatly influenced the Christian life of this man of faith, prayer and daily Mass,” he said. “I think that this consistency between Gaudi’s architecture and his Christian life is very much valued by the Holy Father.”
The cardinal noted that construction of the church began in 1882, and while some exterior parts have not yet been completed, construction of the church’s interior was finished this year, making it possible now for the consecration to take place.