January 14, 2007

"God's Architect"

I was reading Faces of Holiness II yesterday and guess whom I found among the holy people featured there: Antoni Gaudi, Spain's greatest architect.

I remember seeing his beautiful buildings in 2001, when Dominic and I did a little Europe tour with Teddy and Benedict. Dominic's uncle has an apartment near Tarragona where we spent a few days together with Dominic's parents. Dominic and I spent an entire day in Barcelona (without kids) walking around and visiting the major touristic attractions including Gaudi's buildings:
Casa Mila

Casa Battlo,

and his most famous work
Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family Church), the symbol of Barcelona.

One place we didn't get to see, which is another one of Gaudi's major creations is Park Guell

a park commissioned for the aristocracy of Barcelona and adorned with many little structures, buildings and figures, some covered in colorful tiles all in the typical Gaudi style.

But, the reason I'm writing about him here is not to discuss his work or his architectural style but to share my excitement about what I just found out, namely that a few years ago Antoni Gaudi's beatification process was officially initiated.

Some people are surprised about this. For the first 31 years of his life he was known as someone who enjoyed luxury and extravagance. His conversion started after he began working on the Sagrada Familia
He moved to his on-site studio and dedicated the rest of his life to this particular project and to God. During this second part of his life he was known for living modestly and for being a deeply spiritual person.He gave up his wealthy lifestyle, started every day with Mass and Communion and spent time in front of the Blessed Eucharist often. Apparently, Gaudi had several mystical experiences which provided inspiration for his ongoing work on Sagrada Familia.

He died in 1926, struck by a streetcar, at the age of 74.

For the beatification process to be concluded, there needs to be a documented miracle attributed to his intercession.
The second step would then be the canonization process. If a second miracle is proven, than he will be declared a saint.

So, next time you need to pray for someone's intercession in a serious problem, give St. Anthony and St. Jude a break. They work too much. Try praying to Antoni Gaudi and who knows, you might make history, if your prayers are answered.

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