Pope Benedict XVI this last weekend dedicated the Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona in the presence of Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
Benedict praised Anton Gaudi, the original architect of this grand building, for bridging the division between human consciousness and spiritual reality, between life here and now and life eternal.
The church leader said: “Gaudi did this, not with words but with stones, lines, planes and points.”
The Sagrada Familia or ‘holy family’ church is still unfinished after more than 100 years but the completion of the interior space was the reason for this service of blessing.
Gaudi only lived to see one tower and most of one façade finished by the time he died in 1926.
He planned the church to have 18 towers—12 for each apostle, four for the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the tallest tower for Jesus.
Only 8 towers have been completed and the hope is to finish the entire building by 2026, the anniversary of the death of Anton Gaudi.
Asked why it was taking so long to finish the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi replied, “My client—meaning God—is not in a hurry.”
Pope Urges Spain to Shun Secularism, CNN, 7 November 2010.
Image: “He planned the church to have 18 towers—12 for each apostle, four for the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the tallest tower for Jesus.”