BARCELONA, Spain, OCT. 29, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In addition to designing Barcelona’s Church of the Sagrada Familia, which Benedict XVI will consecrate Nov. 7, architect Antonio Gaudí is attributed with miracles that could lead to his canonization.
On Tuesday, members of the Pro-Beatification of Antonio Gaudí Association held a press conference to report on the cause for the architect’s beatification.
They noted that they have received numerous personal testimonies from around the world that Gaudí’s intercession brought together broken families, cured illnesses, fostered profound conversions to Catholicism, and found jobs for the unemployed.
In fact, speaking to journalists in the crypt of the Church of the Holy Family, the association representatives expressed confidence that the architect will be beatified by June 10, 2016, the 90th anniversary of his death.
The promoters of this process of beatification clarified that it depends on the Vatican Congregation Saints’ Causes, and, ultimately, on the will of God.
However, one of the association founders, Josep Maria Tarragona, explained that they have given themselves that “horizon of work” because there is already evidence of a “trustworthy miracle.”
This reference to a possible miracle concerns the inexplicable cure of a disease of the retina claimed by Montserrat Barenys, of the city of Reus, where Gaudí was baptized on the day after his birth.
A report of this alleged miraculous cure of the eyesight will be transmitted to the archbishopric of Tarragona, which encompasses Reus.
The association members also highlighted the testimony of Ramon Amargant, who says he was cured miraculously from an ulcer on his hip through the intercession of Gaudí.
The association was born in 1992 through the enthusiasm of five laymen convinced of the sanctity of the artist and with an initial budget of €300 ($417).
The diocesan phase of the cause for canonization took place in Barcelona between 2000 and 2003. In July 2003, the process of beatification opened in Rome.
Silvia Correale is the postulator, Father Lluís Bonnet is the vice-postulator and Father Vincenzo Criscuolo, is the relator.
Father Bonnet, pastor of the Holy Family church, explained at the press conference that the association now hopes that the Congregation for Saints’ Causes will confirm that Gaudí lived the Christian virtues heroically, that his intercession has indeed propitiated a miracle, and that the Pope will declare him venerable.
The priest said that in 2012 he plans to give to the congregation a documented biography of the architect that will amount to between 1,200 and 1,444 pages.
For his part, the president of the association, architect Josep Manuel Almuzara, said, in reference to the Sagrada Familia church, that “behind this marvelous church there is a marvelous architect for his art and also for his Christianity.”