Gaudi's Sagrada Familia a hymn of praise 'carved in stone'

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI


Pope Benedict lauded the design of Barcelona's newly dedicated minor basilica in bringing the Gospel to everyone, especially the poor.

Just after Mass at the newly dedicated Minor Basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) in Barcelona, Spain, the Holy Father stepped out of the church to pray the Angelus with the tens of thousands of faithful on hand.

As he did in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on the first day of the journey and again in his homily at Mass moments earlier, the Holy Father once more put emphasis on the value of life, marriage and family and the importance of their protection.

Jesus, he said in his words before the Angelus, "in the silence of the home of Nazareth, taught us without words of the dignity and the primordial value of marriage and the family, the hope of humanity, in which life finds its welcome from conception to natural death.

"He has taught us also that the entire Church, by hearing and putting his word into practice, becomes his family. And he has exhorted us to be a seed of fraternity which, sown in every heart, nourishes hope."

The Holy Father spoke of the local region’s devotion to the Holy Family, seen "as a hymn of praise to God carved in stone" in the minor basilica.

Through the design of the church, said the Holy Father, architect Antoni Gaudi gave praise to God which "as with the birth of Christ, has had as its protagonists the most humble and simple of people."

Pointing to designs which transmit a catechesis on Christ's life, Pope Benedict said, "in effect, Gaudí, through his work, sought to bring the Gospel to everyone."

Seeking with the local parish priest to bring the Word of God to the poorest, said the Pope, Gaudi brought concrete reality to the conviction, saying: “The poor must always find a welcome in the Church, which is an expression of Christian charity.”

The Holy Father also called attention to the beatification in Brazil of the foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Maria Barbara of the Most Holy Trinity. He expressed his desired that her faith and charity might "awaken" the desire for new vocations to the religious life, especially in service of the poorest and the most needy.

"In prayer," he concluded, "let us now consider the mystery of the Incarnation and lift up our prayer to the Mother of God with the words of the Angelus, as we entrust our lives and the life of the entire Church to her, while imploring the gift of peace for each and every person of good will."

To read the Pope’s full message, visit: