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Family life focus of ‘pilgrim’ Pope’s reflections on Spain

Holy Father reflects on the power of pilgrimage and family life after visiting Spain

Pope Benedict XVI emphasised the power of pilgrimage and family life in his reflections about his recent visit to Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela during his weekly public audience on yesterday.

Before thanking the Spanish Royal Family and the Archbishops of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona for their efforts in organising the visit, the Pope described how he ‘wished to become a pilgrim’ in order to commemorate the Holy Year of Compostela.

“In moments of confusion, of searching, of difficulty, and in the desire to strengthen their faith and live more coherent lives the pilgrims of Compostela follow a profound itinerary of conversion to Christ Who took the weakness and sins of humanity, the misery of the world, on His own shoulders, and carried them to where evil no longer has any power and where the light of goodness illuminates all things,” he said.

His Holiness also talked about his visit to Barcelona to dedicate Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica, where he claimed that the Basilica ‘draws us to the true shrine, the place of authentic worship, heaven, where Christ entered to appear before God on our behalf’ and how Gaudi felt ‘the need to prepare himself spiritually in order to succeed in expressing the unfathomable mystery of God in material reality.’

The Pope spoke of how the visit to the Basilica allowed him to underline the importance of strong family life, as he prayed for greater support for marriage, family life and those affected by the global economic crisis.

“Everything done to support marriage and the family, to help people in need, everything that serves to enhance man’s greatness and his inviolable dignity, also helps to perfect society,” he added.

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