The architect who designed the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Antoni Gaudi, could be beatified on 10 June 2016, on the 90th anniversary of his death, say the promoters of his Cause.
The news comes on the eve of the consecration of the Sagrada Familia as a Basilica on 7 November by Pope Benedict XVI. (See my recent America piece here. And another one in the forthcoming Our Sunday Visitorhere.)
Gaudi (1852-1926) would be the first professional artist ever to be canonised by the Church. (True, Fra Angelico was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II, but he was a friar who painted, rather than a lay artist.)
At a press conference held around Gaudi's tomb in the Basilica's crypt on Monday, one of the founders of the Association for his Beatification, Josepmaria Tarragona, said the way could now be clear following the unexplained healing of the eye of Montserrat Barenys, who -- providentially for local pride -- lives in the Catalan town of Reus, where Gaudi was baptised.
The documentation of her healing will be added to the positio -- an account of Gaudi's life which records his heroic virtues -- which is close to completion. Should the Congregation of the Causes of Saints approve both, Gaudi could shortly be declared "venerable" and the date fixed for his beatification.
The fact that the world's spotlight will be on the Sagrada Familia and its architect on 7 November can't but help put salt on the tails of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.