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On Wednesday Pope Francis met with members of the organization in charge of promoting the cause for canonization of Antoni Gaudi, known as “God’s architect,” telling them that he hopes the cause moves forward quickly. “The meeting with Pope Francis was an unforgettable experience; he told me that ‘Gaudi is a great mystic’ and that he hopes he will be declared Venerable soon,” Jose Manuel Almuzara told CNA Dec. 18. Almuzara heads the Association for the Beatification of Antoni Gaudi. Originally started as a small group of laymen with a tiny budget, the association decided to investigate the possibility in of Gaudi’s sainthood in 1992; the cause for his canonization was officially opened in Rome in 2003. …Gaudi, a Servant of God, was born in 1852 in Spain’s autonomous community of Catalonia. He was a devout Catholic, which together with forms drawn from nature greatly influenced his architecture; he has received the nickname “God’s architect” due to the emphasis he placed on religion in his works. His most famous work is the basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) in Barcelona. He began his work on the masterpiece in 1883, and in 1914 stopped all other projects to work exclusively on the masterpiece, to which he dedicated himself until his death in 1926. The church was consecrated by Benedict XVI in 2010, and named a basilica. Still under construction, it is expected to be completed by 2026, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. The basilica is known to have inspired conversions, one of whom was a Japanese architect who in 1998 was sent by the South Korean government to study Gaudi’s work in Barcelona, in preparation for an exhibition on the Gaudi’s works.
Gaudí devoted his life entirely to his profession, remaining single. He is only known to have been attracted to one woman—Josefa Moreu, teacher at the Mataró Cooperative, in 1884—but this was not reciprocated.Thereafter Gaudí took refuge in the profound spiritual peace his Catholic faith offered him. Gaudí is often depicted as unsociable and unpleasant, a man of gruff reactions and arrogant gestures. However, those who were close to him described him as friendly and polite, pleasant to talk to and faithful to friends.