Continguts en anglès: Santamariadelmartort in English.

Francesc Tort comments a controversial issue about Santa Maria del Mar:

At my initiative, with the support of outstanding parishioners, it was arranged that Santa Maria del Mar kept in a stained glass the perennial memory of the Olympic Games. The design was offered to the outstanding artist Jose Fernandez Castillo. The district and the Pastoral Council, with the collaboration of Mr. Basagoda, decided that the chapel with the new stained glass had to be related to the origins of Santa Maria del Mar: Santa Eulalia ... Although the stained glass is now one of the most photographed, when I ceased to act as parish priest it was forgotten ... Since then, a business oriented vision of the church began: a 80% reduction of worship, the creation of the "Concerts a Barcelona"... They even destroyed the Sacristy in benefit of the "services" of the concert hall ... Now they are talking about placing there the base of the projected elevator in order to facilitate the visitors' climb to the rooftops of the Basilica. To this end: Great waste of money to construct walkways illuminated at night. They even replaced the perfect interior lighting of the Basilica, now with thousands of lights, in order to illuminate the "Great Cross" ... All the illumination thanks to the generous donation of the "Endesa Foundation", requested by a friend of the electricians ... The Chapel of the Santísimo of 1842, which I completely restored, now is almost without cult and it’s in danger ...... The circus and waste continues with the "Great Cross Of Santa Maria del Mar "...: Reinforce the key back where it hangs. Before the last sleight of hand session: Several expensive tests were done with crosses of different materials... Until the last, apparently of bronze, inaugurated, on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017. A pamphlet published for this purpose shows the will to trick with all this circus: In Santa Maria del Mar THERE WAS NEVER SUCH A CROSS. The text adduced on the Cross could be on any cross, even more for a cross of the poor and the faithful and not so much for the aforementioned Cross, built and located at great expense and deceit ... Dr. Francesc Tort Mitjans.

Here you can see the aforementioned pamphlet about the "Great Cross":



During the Middle Ages, Santa Maria del Mar was built during the fourteenth century, the importance of the crucifix in Christian churches was seen in a large cross in the dome of the absis. Towards this great cross all people were guided. As witnesses to this we have the Milan Duomo and many Gothic churches in Europe. The meaning of the Cross can be seen in these texts:

Let us contemplate the figure of the precious and vivifying Cross.
Council II of Nicea, year 787

The victorious Cross of Christ is in the center of the temple.
Pope Leo III, year 816

Under the arch of the dome of the main chapel is placed a cross of noble material.
Cardinal Carles Borromeo, Milan

May the Cross be of gold, silver, or golden bronze.
Ceremonial of the bishops in force from 1600 to 1983

In the Gospel the Cross of Christ shines gloriously.
Pope Francisco


This new great bronze cross presides over the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar and links with the beautiful Gothic Virgin of the sixteenth century placed at the top of the prestige, remembering that "When Christ died on the Cross gave us Mary as a mother"

 

Margareth Thatcher, a special guest in Santa María del Mar (click here to see the full information)

A few days before Christmas, Scotland Yard asked us to speak with the priest of Santa Maria del Mar about the attendance of Mrs. Margareth Thatcher to the temple, 24th of December, 1994. We were told that the people who organized the visit to Barcelona asked for the temple in which the Midnight Mass was preetier and they were told that this one was Santa Maria del Mar. Then they prepared the visit for Mrs. Thatcher, her husband and their entourage. I was asked which site would be assigned because they wanted to prepare their security.

They suggested that the best place would be the presbytery and the proposal was acceded. Then the presbytery was the place where the Chapel of Music, the Escolania and the Escola Cantorum acted, and so it was not difficult to accede to the proposal. The priest informed Scotland Yard that he would appoint a lady who could inform and translate the celebration to Mrs. Thatcher, and this lady was Ms. Urchi Bequer.

Ms. Thatcher enjoyed the translation at the time of the homily and the whole mass. After the picture in which the rector of Santa Maria del Mar, Francesc Tort Mitjans, preaches the homily we translate it.
The number of people attending Mass, as it has been since 1986, was arround two thousand.

The news of Mrs. Thatcher's planned visit was not known in advance either at the city level or at the parish level, as it was agreed with the police. It must be said that, as seen in the last picture with Jesus Child, many glances, especially at the end of the Mass, were addressed to the former Prime Minister of England, who was at especially attentive and affectionate and spoke kind words to all the people who went to greet her.
Mrs. Thatcher finally signed with her husband in the book of illustrious visitors.


Personal comments by Dr. Francisco Tort Mitjans in light of his forced retirement. Click here to read

 

 

Opening Party Proclamation - Festa Major del Barri de la Ribera, 2008


What a joy I found among those who live here since I was appointed rector of Santa María del Mar! Among you, I have spent the best moments of my life and also the saddest ones, such as the death of my mother and my sister María Antonia, who attended this dinner happily last year, 2007. My stay with you wanted to be at the service of everyone, and I enjoy when we meet often in the streets of our neighborhood. Thank you also to the three thousand of you who signed up asking me to continue as the rector of Santa María del Mar. Thanks, especially today, to the people who organize the Celebration of the neighborhood, that offered me to take part in this 2008 and to pronounce the opening.

How good you live when you find that support! I have to remember the good relationship maintained with the councilors of Ciutat Vella: Mr. Cernuda, Dr. Clos, Dr. Casas, Mr. Duarte Fusté, Ms. Cati Carreras, Mr. Carles Martí and the current councilor, Mrs. Etziar Gonzalez. Also with the mayor of Barcelona: Mr. Pascual Maragall, with Dr. Joan Clos and the clairvoyant and dialogant Mr. Jordi Hereu, who is represented by Mr. Carles Martí, the First Lieutenant of the Mayor, whose depth of thought is valued.

We note the good tune and permanent collaboration with the Platform of Entities of the Bank chaired by Mr. Emili Cota, a man from the neighborhood who has won name and prestige for his long history and dedication. I also remember the constant good treatment with the members of the Party Commission, which was presided by himself, is made up of such outstanding names as Mr. Francesc Mingo.
The relationship with all these political and social characters was not a simple protocol. Many of them were part of the Patronage of Santa María del Mar that led to the restoration of the temple, Dr. Clos, among others. Some of them were also active members of the Pastoral Council of Santa María del Mar, such as Mr. Cota and the president of the Association of Neighbors...

In this context all things were done both religiously and socially. For example, the games room for young people, boys and girls, with billiards, table football, table tennis, library, television ... The School of Music and Escolanía de Santa María del Mar formed by girls and boys of the neighborhood with different teachers of piano, violin... The director of the Bank still reminds me how many of the savings books opened by the parish for schoolchildren still remain. The same Mr. Cota along with Mr. Josep Caparros presented to the Escolanía 10 violins.
The Escolania of Santa Maria del Mar was the joy of the parish and the neighborhood. His level was so high that they were even hired several times to sing at the Sant Jordi Mass in the Generalitat, offering a well applauded concert. They also performed many times at weddings. The Escolania with its School of Music was a social work of first order and a very valuable element for the parochial celebrations. It was them, with the Music Chapel, the protagonists of the songs. No one else could fit in the chancel.

In the musical side I can not forget the already mentioned prestigious Chapel of Music of Santa Maria del Mar formed and directed by Mr. Enric Gispert, Master of Chapel with appointment of the same Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona Dr. Narcís Jubany, who loved so much Santa Maria del Mar, even when retired. All these facts show that religious celebrations before the tourist boom had the temple full of people. Not just Christmas, with the singing of the Sibyl. Also on August 15, the patron saint of the Basilica, with the Little Altarpiece. There was no obstacle in the carpet, which was only put on weddings and was later removed. Santa María del Mar is more welcoming when there are the less obstacles to enjoy the clean stone, also with banks reduced to the minimum necessary for ordinary celebrations.
We quoted before the Patronage. Thanks to its efforts with Banco Hispano America and the Generalitat, a comprehensive agreement for the complete restoration of the whole temple, the five planks, facades and stained glass windows is signed.

In this field, we can not fail to remember the stained glass window of the Barcelona 92 Olympic Games, the work of the renowned artist Mr. Josep Fernández Castrillo, made by the Foundation Center of the Glass of Barcelona, directed by Ms. Pilar Muñoz. A fact of this size and cost needed more than the simple idea. Thanks to Mr. Emili Cota, the City Council and others it could be carried out. Said stained glass is the most photographed and admired by the tourists who visit the temple.
The final plan conceived for the Barrio was that the chapel where the stained glass was placed should be dedicated to Barcelona. It was planned to place in it a replica of the tomb of Santa Eulalia, whose original one is in the Archaeological Museum of Monjuic. The image of Santa Eulalia, work of the sculptor Mares, and an explanatory panel of the stained glass with the name of the author, the explanations of his own work, the names it contains...
This were planned to unite the neighborhood and parish, both the promoters of this important event, as well as all the religious and civil entities of the District and the City. This was not a bold idea, I promoted it myself and formed the brotherhoods of Bacalao, and of the Virgin of the Olive.
Without communion with neighbors, a parish is not viable as a religious or social center. Every rector arrives at a place that existed before him and will continue after him. It has to be put at the service of both past history and present reality, shunning personal protagonism. A single stone does not make Santa Maria del Mar but the sum of thousands ...

The history of Santa Maria del Mar, written by me and funded by the Uriach Foundation reminds it to us.
Many people from the neighborhood wanted to be in the various activities of the parish, informing and collaborating. It is thanks to this implication that we learned from the will of Sta. Rosita Nonell, who left her flat of 200 square meters, plus the lows of 200 square meters, located in Canvis Nous street 1, making corner with the Santa Maria square, for the Residence of the Elderly in the Neighborhood. When he died we were not told of this, until several ladies came to me, including Mrs. Maria Victoria Franco, informing me. I asked them to put this in writing. The letters were presented to the heirs, finally the public deed of donation of the floor and a warehouse of Canvis Vells street.
There are many other important facts in the same context. The magnificent organ, coming from Vic, which in agreement signed by me and Mr. Enric Gispert, is a magnificent reality. If you read the text of the agreement you will see how this organ is used for both the church and the neighborhood.
The old mechanical clock did not cease to break down, and when Mrs. Maria Güell died, Mr. Emili Cota and Josep Caparros, in memory of her, financed the electronic clock, adapting the transmissions to the bells. The mayor himself, Mr. Pascual Maragall, presided over the blessing of the new clock with company of many parishioners.
The five bells with new engines had already been restored and electrified. The bells help the joy of all. The touches and sounds of the bell towers must be agreed, it is necessary that they help the coexistence.

This celebration of the district also maintains a strong relationship with Santa María del Mar. On Sunday, members of the Party Board, in full, presided over the mass of 1pm, from the top of the presbytery. They had prepared the list of all the inhabitants of the district who had died during the year, and one by one were named, many of their relatives were present. The Escolania and the Chapel of Music acted. At the end of the ceremony the members of the Board entered the sacristy, then always open to all, and we had the pleasure of speaking with great familiarity. Some pictures of the act, made by Paco Muñoz, can be seen on my website: santamariadelmartort.es.
Finally, I have to say that I will have everyone in my heart, also Santa Maria del Mar.


Thank you!

Mn. Francesc Tort Mitjans