On June 25th we commemorate the birth of Antoni Gaudí. He also died in this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which he had such a great devotion.
At his birth, baptized Antonio Placido Guillermo, he was a fragile child with poor health. The family doctor told his mother that he should not study too much, and so avoid getting tired, "although that would not have serious consequences on his health." However, in the 5-year-old child these words provoked the decision not to fulfill the doctor's prophecies. And so, as an adult, he was often thankful that the illness that forced him to give up playing with his companions actually gave him the possibility to increase his observation skills and to begin the journey that was later to blossom in the artistic creation of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Then, during visits to the expiatory temple in Barcelona, Antoni Gaudí, the "Maestro" as his co-workers called him, corrected those who saw natural features in his work by saying "call it creation," redirecting them to the Creator.
Gaudi likes explaining his work more to children than to scholars, and often he accompanies them when they go to see the world's largest nativity scene. Meanwhile, the journals of the time were scoffing at the forms never seen before and at the same time ancient, as they rose up in Barcelona's suburb, surrounded by barracks for workers, and hence nicknamed the "Cathedral of the poor."
Father Manuel Trens, a great friend of Gaudí who was struggling to understand his work, explained that "the great architect does nothing without God, because he sees, with a formidable intuition, his mission and responsibility. This allows him to undertake the task with the serenity and the creative slowness of the world's beginning." Gaudí himself was amused by his last name, which in Catalan means rejoice.
Today, 90 years after his death, people come from all over the world to see this wonderful building, built with miraculous stones that make the invisible visible: the Sagrada Familia.