Posted by: Christine | November 12, 2010

La Sagrada Familia is Consecrated

On Sunday November 7th, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI led the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which he also consecrated the much-anticipated [now] minor basilica of la Sagrada Familia (“Holy Family”)  in Barcelona.  La Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882, and will probably be completed around 2026.  Understandably, the consecration of this church has been much-anticipated by Spain, whose people have had many crosses to bear over the centuries, including many martyrdoms.  In his blessing, the Pope prayed for an overflow of grace upon Barcelona:

I implore the Lord of our lives that, from this altar, which will now be anointed with holy oil and upon which the sacrifice of the love of Christ will be consumed, there may be a flood of grace and charity upon the city of Barcelona and its people, and upon the whole world. May these fruitful waters fill with faith and apostolic vitality this archdiocesan Church, its pastors and its faithful. (1.)

The architect, the late Antoni Gaudi, was well-known for his innovative style of expression, as well as his chosen life of poverty.  In fact, Gaudi was very dedicated to his Catholic faith.  According to the Vatican Information Service, Pope Benedict explained how Gaudi integrated spiritual and temporal beauty in his vision of la Sagrada Familia, in order to glorify God:

[This work of art] stands as a visible sign of the invisible God, to whose glory these spires rise like arrows pointing towards absolute light and to the One Who is Light, Height and Beauty itself. In this place, Gaudi desired to unify that inspiration which came to him from the three books which nourished him as a man, as a believer and as an architect: the book of nature, the book of Sacred Scripture and the book of the liturgy. In this way he brought together the reality of the world and the history of salvation, as recounted in the Bible and made present in the liturgy. He made stones, trees and human life part of the church so that all creation might come together in praise of God, but at the same time he brought the sacred images outside so as to place before people the mystery of God revealed in the birth, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1.)

I’m particularly excited about the fact that la Sagrada Familia is now consecrated.  I plan to visit Spain in the summer of 2011, as a pilgrimage to Madrid for World Youth Day.  In addition, my friend and I are planning to travel around the country (not quite as pilgrims – we’ll be sleeping on beds, not on mats).  Right now, we’re trying to brainstorm what cities we’d like to visit.  So far, I think I’d like to see Barcelona (!!!), Sevilla (or somewhere in Andalusia), and Toledo.  Any recommendations?

Here is a short video of the Holy Father during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (originally from :





  1. In addition, the Holy Father visited Santiago de Compostela, the place where St. James is said to have been buried after his martyrdom in Jerusalem. I’d like to visit this place too, and I’d like to do [part of] the camino de Santiago (a long walk to the pilgrimage site).

    Here’s a video that compiles the highlights of the Pope’s pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela:

  2. Also, a lovely inspirational music video from Barcelona:

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