Destination Spain for Fifth Papal Voyage of 2010


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(03 Mar 10 - RV) It was announced Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI will make a fifth oversees Papal Voyage in 2010. On Nov. 6 he will be in Santiago de Compostela for the Year of St. James celebrations. On Nov 7th he will travel to the Port City of Barcelona.

The announcement was made Wednesday morning during two press conferences held by respective archbishops in the cities and confirmed by Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.
The visit to Santiago de Compostela, the site of St. James the Greater's tomb and the destination of thousands who walk the "camino," or path of St. James every year, coincides with the city's Holy Year, which occurs every time St. James' feast day, July 25, falls on a Sunday. It also comes on the 900th anniversary of the construction of the city's cathedral.

Archbishop Julian Barrio Barrio of Santiago de Compostela says the Pope's visit "will help to animate Christian hope in a time when a new spiritual impulse" is needed. The Archbishop describes the moment Spanish society is currently experiencing as "not easy" . However, he adds, the visit of the Holy Father, will help revitalize the social commitment of believers to "adhere to the principles and foundations of our faith".

On the second day of his Spanish trip Pope Benedict XVI will travel to the Southern Port City of Barcellona to preside over the consecration of the famous church, La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi

Officially called the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family), it was begun in 1882 but was not completed by Gaudi who died in 1926. The church has been under construction intermittently since then. Although it's still unfinished, both sides of the central nave are now covered so the church can be blessed.

The Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Luis Martínez Sistach, says that the Church dedicated to the Holy Family is unique in the world. He describes it as a "a temple with an artistic, biblical, theological, spiritual and catechetical, meaning".

Antoni Gaudi was a Catholic who renounced secular art in his later years and dedicated most of his life to building the church. Architect Antoni Gaudi's cause for beatification was opened in 1999.

Pope Benedict XVI will also visit Spain in 2011 for World Youth Day in the capital city of Madrid.