Last Sunday the news were published that the works of the Holy Family were resumed in order to finish, at the end of this year, the tower dedicated to the Holy Mary, which will be crowned by a luminous star both day and night. It has been a spark of hope in the midst of the darkness of this pandemic and, surely, its culmination will illuminate the lives of many people and the city of Barcelona will be an event of the utmost importance, in the religious, tourist and cultural spheres.
La Sagrada Familia is the maximum exponent in Barcelona of how faith continues to create culture at the highest level, as it has done for many centuries, and that, always in close collaboration with all of society. The testimonies we have of this in the city and throughout Catalonia are very diverse: started with the Romanic style, assuming a great fullness with the Gothic, intertwine in the Baroque and acquire brilliance in Modernism. The Christian faith has always used the various cultural elements to express itself and has used both painting and sculpture, both architecture and music. The remarkable and numerous samples that we have left are a first-rate cultural heritage of Catalonia that contributes to making our land a first-rate tourist destination.
“Catalonia Sacra” has been started a few years ago, which is a joint initiative of all bishoprics based in Catalonia to value this rich heritage, making it known and helping to understand its deep meaning. More recently, the “Medieval Soul” experience that brought together the Cathedral, Santa María del Mary Sant Pau del Camp, has taken place in the city of Barcelona to promote a joint visit. This initiative has opened the way to new ones that also facilitate the joint discovery of this potential, and actually we work in different initiatives in this way,
starting with the city of Barcelona itself. These initiatives in the tourist and cultural field of the Church’s heritage have collaborated in the conservation and maintenance of these monuments, allowing other ecclesial resources used for other initiatives, especially those that are suffering the most from the current circumstances.
In these moments, the middle of the pandemic situation, leads us to savor more of everything we have, and invites us to seek peace and everything that strengthens the spirit. Now the cultural heritage of the Church of Catalonia is offered in all its potential by making spaces available May they open their hearts to the peace that has been breathed in them for many centuries and with the will to continue offering it for many more centuries. Spaces that allow you to savor culture precisely in what is most genuine to it. For that reason, from the various ecclesial institutions, bridges are construct with the cultural institutions of Catalonia to join forces that allow us to multiply results, in these moments when this is so necessary. This joint work will allow us to present an offer that, in the coming months, will allow Catalans themselves to rediscover the very important heritage that we have. And a little later, will be a pole of attraction for visitors from all over the world, who will return to reach our land but in a new way and with a new spirit.
Father. Josep M. Turull
Director of the diocesan bureau of tourism, pilgrimages and sanctuaries of the Archbishop of Barcelona
Article published in La Vanguardia, on Sunday, January 31.