The dedication yesterday of the new Basilica in Barcelona (which is a church and not a Cathedral, as is often stated) honours the Holy Family in such a way that all Christian families are honoured by this act of the Church in down-town Barcelona. I visited the church in 1999 and was absolutely amazed by the beauty of its unique architecture. The Holy Father commenting on this yesterday, said that "Gaudí [the architect] 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. In this way, he brilliantly helped to build our human consciousness, anchored in the world yet open to God, enlightened and sanctified by Christ. In this he accomplished one of the most important tasks of our times: overcoming the division between human consciousness and Christian consciousness, between living in this temporal world and being open to eternal life, between the beauty of things and God as beauty."
How wonderful it is that the Church is such a clear sign of God in the world, and that the Family should have such a beautiful Shrine in the midst of secular Europe, that "all who enter here and all who in word or deed, in silence and prayer, have made this possible this marvel of architecture. May Our Lady present to her divine Son the joys and tribulations of all who come in the future to this sacred place so that here, as the Church prays when dedicating religious buildings, the poor may find mercy, the oppressed true freedom and all men may take on the dignity of the children of God."