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Tuesday29 July 2014

Pope's visit could fast-track Gaudi sainthood

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The consecration of Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece in Barcelona is set to kick-start a process to turn the world-famous architect into a saint.

Benedict XVI will celebrate mass at the Sagrada Familia, where construction started in 1883,  on Sunday, whichcampaigners hope will lead the Vatican to fast-track Gaudi’s beatification.

The Association for the Beatification of Antoni Gaudi announced this week that the Spanish architect could be beatified on June 10, 2016 – coinciding with the 90th anniversary of his death.

Josep Maria Tarragona, the author of Gaudi’s biography, cites two miracles that took place in Gaudi’s name.

One relates to a Spanish man who was apparently cured of his stomach ulcers after praying to Gaudi, and a woman claims her sight was restored after by her prayers to the architect.

For Gaudi to become a saint the Vatican will have to examine his devotion to God and the miracles, to see if they are sufficient for beatification.

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Readers' comments (11)

  • Maybe he could become the Patron Saint of Architects. I might start by praying to him that I survive the recessession with a job ... if I do, I will be sure to tell the Pope as it will certainly count as a miracle.

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  • Mike Duriez

    Mark, Gaudi himself didn't himself make it so well through the recession of 1920s Barcelona. Good luck and keep an eye out for trams, all the same.

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  • Gaudi was on the right track : Sagrada Familia is piece of un'tram'melled genius and far too good to be wasted on the Catholic Church?? It will make a stunning centre for Pagan worship when the sins/indulgences of the Cardinals have finally reduced the Vatican to the unloved and unwanted joke it deserves to be!!

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  • Too good to be wasted on the Catholic Church? You're rather missing the point that it was Gaudi's faith and piety that inspired him to produce such a sublime work of architecture. The one is dependent on the other.

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  • I climbed one of the towers of Sagrada Familia in 1988. It was unfinished, with no handrail, very scary & the view breath-taking. The cathedral is awesome & a true work of genius. I think he should be made a saint because his work is so truly brilliant. The Cathedral really does invoke a feeling that there is something much greater than ourselves - that's a miracle in it's own right. And yes - we do need a patron saint. This has to be just about the worst time for architects & some support & recognition for the profession would be hugely welcome - surely?

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  • I always thought St. Thomas was the patron saint of architects, but some believe the architect's patron saint to be St. Barbara. Either way we already have one, or possibly two, but in this age of austerity and uncertainty we could do with all the help we can get!

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  • Citizen & Surely(!)

    Faith and piety are ten a penny ; masonry, knowledge and intelligence have been the main engines of achieving this stunning structure : not a single deity lifted a single block of stone in the construction of this edifice. All it will take to complete the project is money and energy : again, not a single deity involved!!!!

    A sense of unity and empathy certainly exists amongst the artisans involved in the work : but these are humanitarian qualities, not religious diktats!! Altitude does not confer religious significance : e.g. the Eiffel Tower? I don't believe there is a religious cult that worships this specific structure???

    As for a patron saint of architects : a pious candidate from the architectural profession could easily be found : the list is qualifying individuals is huge : St James of Stirling???? Others exist : St Seifert, St Goldfinger, St Corbusier : but you can't have Jewish Saints? I'll have a large whiskey please!!! Ah! St Norman of Nimes!!!!!!---when he's dead!!

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  • in Gaudi's country the patron of constructionworkers (from bricklayers to architects) is already named sant Antoni, not after Gaudi but because of the one from Portugal. so for me there is no need to add another one with the same name to the list. anyway, to come up with new saints still in the 21st century is a very poor & anacronic way to to keep your religion alive. next to that, Gaudi is much more interesting and worthwile as a normal human being -with all his possible faults- capable of creating a architectonical univers of his own than as a saint, responsible of some bizarre miracles.

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  • Andrew Gilmour

    Is Le Corbusier a saint already? He has done Catholic buildings, there have been many miracles where architecture students have copied his work and still passed, and he was martyred in a bathing accident. Bingo.

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  • Barrie Wilson

    All architects who work for the Catholic church should automatically become saints. Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan did that superb building at Cardross, plus a string of churches. Better than Gaudi, I would say.

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