Pope Benedict XVI was welcomed to Spain on 7 November 2010 by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Asturias, Prince Felipe and his wife, Doña Letizia. Prince Felipe is Heir Apparent to the Spanish throne.
The highlight of the tour was the consecration of that architectural triumph, Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona as a minor basilica.
There, in the presence of Their Majesties The King and Queen of Spain, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, enthroned in the sanctuary, The Pope called on the West to embrace God and shun secular trends.
His Holiness said the dedication of the Sagrada Familia church, which began in 1882 and is scheduled for completion in 15 years, was of great importance "at a time in which man claims to be able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him."
The Pope praised the great Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, a genius of considerable humility and piety whose supporters hope will be beatified as early as 2016 along the path to his eventual canonisation.
His Holiness said that in designing the church, Antoni Gaudi "overcame the division between human consciousness and Christian consciousness, between living in this temporal world and being open to eternal life."
“He did this not with words but with stones, lines, planes and points. Indeed, beauty is one of mankind's greatest needs," the Pontiff said.