Holy. Sanctus. Santos.

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – When I came back to early this year, I was welcomed with the news that the Sagrada Familia has opened its doors to the public for free. I have been hearing Mass in the Basilica i Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia ever since 2008. During the first few months, the masses were held inside the Basilica with the construction going on. When they were about to lay the floor tiles, the church officials decided to hold services in the crypt, where Antoni Gaudi is interred. Since then the crypt has become my weekly religious refuge. I have not really seen the Basilica in its entirety.

In November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church as a minor basilica. The Barcelona local government spent a huge sum of money for the Pope’s less-than-24-hours visit. This angered the people. Shortly before Christmas 2010, church officials announced that the main chapel of the Sagrada Familia will hold only 11 major religious services in 2011. The people have to wait for 2026, Gaudi’s death centenary, to get in for free. This means that the locals would have to contend to paying 12 euros to see this Gaudi masterpiece. This move infuriated the people even more. Immediately after the New Year, the church announced that they are opening the doors of the Sagrada Familia every Saturday of January, at no cost at all.

On January 16, I went to see the Sagrada Familia and saw for myself its magnificence. Truly a pièce de résistance!