November 7, 2010.
Thousands of people thronged the streets of Barcelona to greet the Pope as he traveled to the Sagrada Familia.
On his second day in Spain and before consecrating the church of the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí as a minor basilica, Benedict XVI met briefly with the king and queen of Spain in a private meeting.
Inside the basilica more than 6,500 people are expected, along with 1,100 celebrants among the cardinals, bishops and priests. In the streets near the Sagrada Familia, 36 giant screens were installed for the more than 250,000 people who watched the Mass and the consecration of the church.
The Pope began his homily with a word of thanks in Catalan. He described the consecration of the Sagrada Familia as a "significant point in a long history of enthusiasm, work and generosity, which lasted more than a century."
The Pope also commented on his personal joy to enshrine the Sagrada Familia, a church very close to the figure of St. Joseph.Benedict XVI
SPANISH ORIG"I have been moved above all by Gaudi's confidence when, in the face of many difficulties, filled with trust in Divine Providence, he would exclaim, “Saint Joseph will finish this church”. So it is significant that it is also being dedicated by a Pope whose baptismal name is Joseph.”
The Pope noted the originality of Antoni Gaudí to join the architecture and theology in the construction of the Sagrada Familia, precisely at a time when, he said, "the man tries to build his life back to God." The Pope also spoke about the dignity of man as "temple of God."Benedict XVI
SPANISH ORIG“God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Here we find joined together the truth and dignity of God and the truth and dignity of man.”
In a leading city like Barcelona, Benedict also referred to the progress in technology, and social and cultural aspects of society. He said they should always be accompanied by moral progress, especially in defense of the family.Benedict XVI
SPANISH ORIG“Alongside them, there also need to be moral advances, such as in care, protection and assistance to families, inasmuch as the generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the effective context and foundation of human life in its gestation, birth, growth and natural end. Only where love and loyalty are present can true freedom come to birth and endure.”
Benedict XVI performed the stirring ritual of dedication of Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia.
The Pope anointed with oil the four corners of the altar, while several bishops made crosses with chrism on the columns and walls of the church.
Incense was then lighted on the altar to make it sacred. After this, the altar was covered with a tablecloth, candles, and flowers for the celebration of Mass.
Finally, all the lights were turned up in the church to symbolize the presence of Christ, the light of the world.
Once this ritual is completed, Mass could then be celebrated at the altar.
After the Mass, the Pope went to the Nativity facade to pray the Angelus, in which he talked about the Church as a family.
SPANISH ORIG“The whole Church, listening and keeping it's word, becomes your family. And yet we have been entrusted to be the seed of brotherhood that encourages hope in all hearts.”
This is the second time Benedict XVI has consecrated a church. Along with the beauty of the now 'Church of the Sagrada Familia', made this a historic consecration.