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 CNS Story:

POPE-SPAIN (CORRECTED) Mar-4-2010 (270 words) xxxi

Pope to visit Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona in November

By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI will make a two-day trip to Spain in November, visiting the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona, the Vatican announced March 3.

The trip, scheduled for Nov. 6-7, will be pope's fifth this year, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

On the first day of the trip, the pope will visit Santiago de Compostela, the northern Spanish city that became an important pilgrim destination in the Middle Ages. Tradition holds that the remains of the Apostle James the Greater are buried there.

The pope's trip to coincides with Santiago de Compostela Holy Year, which occurs every time St. James' feast day, July 25, falls on a Sunday, Father Lombardi said.

Traveling south, Pope Benedict will preside Nov. 7 over the consecration of Barcelona's famous church, La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

The Barcelona church, officially called the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family), was begun in 1882 but was not completed by Gaudi. It has never been formally consecrated.

The architect was a Catholic who renounced secular art in his later years and dedicated most of his life to building the church. When questioned about the lengthy construction period, he would answer, "My client is not in a hurry."

Both the Gaudi church and the city of Santiago, which remains a significant pilgrimage site, are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

The pope also is scheduled to go to Malta in April, Portugal in May, Cyprus in June and Great Britain in September.

END


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