…is a church that, when finished, will have been 144 years in the making. It was begun on March 19, 1882 (the Feast of St. Joseph) as an expiatory church, meaning that it has always been built entirely from private donations.
…is a minor basilica that, when finished, will be the tallest church building in the world; it has already been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
…is a structure pointing to a world beyond that, when finished, will have 12 towers dedicated to the apostles, 4 to the evangelists, 1 to Blessed Mother, and 1 (the tallest, in the center) to Jesus Christ. Eight are already complete: the Nativity towers and the Passion towers.
“God’s Architect” (Antoni Gaudí, born 1852; died 1926) took over the Sagrada Familia project in 1883 and worked on it until his death in 1926. He knew that he would not live to see it finished, and he left instructions for the generations of architects who would follow him. The Spanish Civil War in the 1930s slowed down the work, due to destruction of some of his files and some of the structure, but it has continued faithfully since then.
Gaudí’s approach to the building of Sagrada Familia was catechetical, to explain the Gospels and the teachings of the Church. Its projected completion date of 2026 will mark 100 years since his death and will be a landmark for the ages.
Gaudí’s extraordinary vocation and love of the Church combined to produce one of the most gifted artists in the history of art. Indeed the cause for his beatification has been introduced (www.gaudibeatificatio.com). It seems appropriate, therefore, to ask for his help in furthering the mission of Stabat Mater Prayer Apostolate: to pray for and with artists so as to advance the Culture of Life.