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APOSTOLIC JOURNEYS
from issue no. 11 - 2010

Like a great Rosary, which is the prayer of ordinary people


Some excerpts from the homily and the Angelus of Sunday 7 November on the occasion of the dedication of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona


by Benedict XVI


Benedict XVI entering the Basilica of the Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Sunday, 7 November 2010 <BR>[© Osservatore Romano/Associated Press/LaPresse]

Benedict XVI entering the Basilica of the Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Sunday, 7 November 2010
[© Osservatore Romano/Associated Press/LaPresse]

Saint Joseph will finish the church
The joy which I feel at presiding at this ceremony became all the greater when I learned that this shrine, since its beginnings, has had a special relationship with Saint Joseph.
I have been moved above all by Gaudí’s confidence when, in the face of many difficulties, filled with trust in divine Providence, he would exclaim, “Saint Joseph will finish the church”.
So it is significant that it is also being dedicated by a Pope whose baptismal name is Joseph

Benedict XVI, homily during the Holy Mass


To place before people the mystery of God revealed in the birth, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
In this place, Gaudí 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

Benedict XVI, homily during the Holy Mass


God revealed and gave Himself to us in Christ
We have dedicated this sacred space to God, Who revealed and gave Himself to us in Christ so as to be definitively God among men.
The revealed Word, the humanity of Christ and His Church are the three supreme expressions of His self-manifestation and self-giving to mankind

Benedict XVI, homily during the Holy Mass



The facade of <I>The Nativity</I> of the Sagrada Família [© Osservatore Romano]

The facade of The Nativity of the Sagrada Família [© Osservatore Romano]

If we allow Christ to live in our hearts…

This is what we are taught in the case of Zacchaeus, of whom today’s gospel speaks (Lk 19, 1-10), if we allow God into our hearts and into our world, if we allow Christ to live in our hearts, we will not regret it: we will experience the joy of sharing His very life, as the object of His infinite love

Benedict XVI, homily during the Holy Mass


A praise of God which had as its protagonists the most humble and simple of people

The genius of Antoni Gaudí, inspired by the ardor of his Christian faith, succeeded in raising this sanctuary as a hymn of praise to God carved in stone.
A praise of God which, as with the birth of Christ, had as its protagonists the most humble and simple of people. In effect, Gaudí, through his work, sought to bring the Gospel to everyone.
For this reason, 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

Benedict XVI, the Angelus after the Holy Mass


The poor must always find a welcome in the Church, which is Christian charity

In collaboration with the parish priest Gil Parés, he also 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 an outlying suburb of Barcelona.
He brought concrete reality to the conviction which he expressed with these words: “The poor must always find a welcome in the Church, which is Christian charity”

Benedict XVI, the Angelus after the Holy Mass


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