November 7, 2010.
Before leaving Spain,
Benedict XVI met briefly at the airport with the Prime Minister of
Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He was accompanied by JosÚ
Montilla, the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
With military honors as a
head of state, the King of Spain Juan Carlos I, said good-bye to
Benedict XVI in Barcelona's El Prat airport.
Juan Carlos I
King of Spain
you wholeheartedly for your memorable visit. Thanks, not only in name
of the Spanish people, but also the government of Spain, the regional
and local authorities that have received you in the past days.”
The Pope thanked the
Spanish locals that have been with him during the two-day trip in
“I am grateful
for the many gestures of attention offered in these days to the Pope,
clear signs of the welcoming hospitality of the people of this land
so dear to my heart.”
Benedict made special note
of some moments from his trip. He recalled on his path to Santiago de
Compostela how the Christian faith is deeply rooted in Spanish
culture. And during his stay in Barcelona he discussed the joy of
dedicating Gaudi's Sagrada Familia.
“I return to
Rome after visiting only two places in this beautiful country.
Nevertheless, in my thoughts and prayers, I have wished to embrace
all Spaniards without exception and all those born elsewhere but now
Before leaving Spain, the
Pope said he looked forward to seeing everyone at the next World
A journey of just 32 hours
in Spain, which is already preparing for the return of the Pope for
World Youth Day 2011.