VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s Christmas cards this year will feature the Basilica of the Holy Family, which he himself consecrated in Barcelona last November.
A statement Friday from the Archdiocese of Barcelona stated that the Vatican had informed Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, the archbishop of Barcelona, that the Pope’s greeting cards will feature “a significant element of the church” designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926).
For the Archdiocese of Barcelona the gesture “highlights [the Pontiff’s] affection for the archdiocese and the very positive impression he took with him of Barcelona,” the note stated.
The archdiocese also revealed a letter Benedict XVI had sent to Cardinal Martínez Sistach to thank him for the attentions he received during his overnight stay in Barcelona from Nov. 6-7.
Upon returning to Rome, the Holy Father recalled in a letter the “joyful ecclesial and spiritual experience of my pastoral visit to Barcelona, where I had the good fortune to dedicate the wonderful church of the Sacred Family and declare it a minor basilica, as well as to share deeply the hopes of all those who form part of the splendid ‘Obra Benefico-Social Nen Deu’ (social charity God-Child).”
“I correspond to all these noble and eloquent gestures, asking the Lord to enrich the sons and daughters of that noble land with the abundance of the gifts of his love and mercy, so that they are of help to them in carrying out their personal, family and social duties,” he added.
In his letter, dated Nov. 9, the Pontiff also entrusted all the people of the archdiocese “to the protection of Mary Most Holy, Our Lady of Mercy” and imparted to them his apostolic blessing.