Pontiff Calls Sagrada Familia a "Catechesis"

Says Family Is «Hope for Humanity»

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BARCELONA, Spain, NOV. 7 (Zenit.org).- Barcelona’s Church of the Holy Family is not only the masterpiece of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), it’s also a catechesis on the life of Christ, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope praised the work of Gaudí today before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered at the church, and after he presided at the Holy Family’s dedication Mass, during which he declared the church a minor basilica.

He noted how «the genius» of Gaudí, «filled with devotion to the Holy Family of Nazareth,» and «inspired by the ardour of his Christian faith, succeeded in raising this sanctuary as a hymn of praise to God carved in stone.»

«A praise of God,» the Pontiff added, «which, as with the birth of Christ, has had as its protagonists the most humble and simple of people.»

Benedict XVI said that through Gaudí used his craft to «bring the Gospel to everyone.»

«For this reason,» the Pope explained, «he conceived of the three porticos of the exterior of the church as a catechesis on the life of Jesus Christ, as a great rosary, which is the prayer of ordinary people, a prayer in which are contemplated the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of our Lord.»

The Holy Father also noted the charitable works of the architect, who «designed and financed from his own savings the creation of a school for the children of the workers and of the poorest families of the neighborhood, which was at that time a outlying suburb of Barcelona.»

Reflecting on the family, the Pontiff called it the «hope of humanity.»

He noted that Christ, «under the watchful care of Joseph and Mary, in the silence of the home of Nazareth, taught us without words of the dignity and the primordial value of marriage and the family.»

Benedict XVI said that it is in the family where «life finds its welcome from conception to natural death.»

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

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30881?l=english

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