Currents News Staff
He was a world-famous architect and a devout Catholic. Antoni Gaudí’s faith is clearly on display in the details of his most important work: the design of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.
“The principal dogmas of Catholic doctrine are represented on the facades of the Sagrada Familia,” said Father Gabriel Córdoba Rodriguez, a Spanish architect and author.
Father Rodriguez is also a Spanish architect, and wrote a book on the theology behind Gaudí’s work. Like Medieval cathedrals, authentic bibles in stone, Gaudí conceived the Sagrada Familia as a large catechesis. He took the altarpieces that are usually found inside the church and moved them outside where everybody could see the truths of the Christian faith. Gaudí wanted to reflect the early Christian church, but with the progress and advances of the time.
“Pope Benedict XVI said that Gaudí’s ability to bring out the altarpieces, his three facades, and his 18 towers, made an ecclesiology,” said Father Rodriguez. “There, the church is proclaimed, and he reveals the glory of God through beauty.”
Father Rodriguez says many elements have been gathered to show that the brilliant architect was a saint. He was a mystic and proclaimed God’s glory through his works and everyday life.
“Gaudí was a person with a great intellectual capacity,” said Father Rodriguez. “He was a cultured and very knowledgeable person, but he was also a deeply religious and spiritual person. The expression of faith through the liturgy was fundamental for him. He was a person of daily communion. Of course, he was also a defender of the faith, during those turbulent times at the end of the 19th century.”
Gaudí not only sought god through architecture and his way of working. He saw god through the creation and all its people. Gabriel explains that Gaudí also inspired faith in others and continuously showed acts of solidarity to his workers, peers and Barcelona’s citizens.
“I felt that it would be important to present a thesis that covers the entire building of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia,” said Father Rodriguez. “I particularly wanted to convey that Gaudí, being a deeply religious person, was able to capture the beauty of what he lived and what he felt from God. All this inspiration came directly to him from God.”