Continguts en anglès: Santamariadelmartort in English.


Francesc Tort and the unlimited ambition on Joan Cabot (complete document in English)
The "Great Cross": a controversial issue about Santa Maria del Mar
Margareth Thatcher, a special guest in Santa María del Mar
Historical documents of Santa Maria del Mar
Opening Party Proclamation - Festa Major del Barri de la Ribera, 2008
Capilla del Santísimo and the new business orientation
Personal comments by Dr. Francisco Tort Mitjans in light of his forced retirement
Francesc Armanyà: short bio extracted from the article by Francesc Tort (Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica)
Funeral of Josep M. Figueras i Bassols (Homily by Francesc Tort)

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

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.


Other historical documents of Santa Maria del Mar

A great fire burnt Santa Maria del Mar back in 1936. At the same time, a bonfire was done in order to destroy the books of the temple: the books of baptisms, marriages, deaths, different files from the church... The huge amount of books that were thrown to the fire was the reason why some of them were not totally burnt. Some of them remained with a few marks and the people could save them. Time passed by and those saved books ended up in antiquarian and book shops. I discovered them in those places and bought those relics. This post on the blog shows some of them.


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:
Finally, I have to say that I will have everyone in my heart, also Santa Maria del Mar.

Thank you!

Mn. Francesc Tort Mitjans

Capilla del Santísimo - click here for more information 1, 2 (full post on the blog)

Chapel of the "Santísimo". Built up in 1843. Restored in 1987. During the Francesc Tort years at the church there was a daily mass there at 9:30am and another one at 7:30pm, with arround 100 persons attending. Now is being destroyed without telling anyone.

In order to adapt the National Palace of Montjuic to the Olympic Games I was invited to the Palace and they told me that I, as the Priest of Santa Maria del Mar, had to decide what to do with the things that Santa Maria del Mar delivered to the Palace.
The basement of the Palace, in order to secure the structure, had to be cleaned up. There were a lot of thing from Santa Maria del Mar. They were saved there when we did the reforms of the altar...
Among the arquitectural pieces from Santa Maria del Mar that were saved there, there were two thrones. I reformed a warehouse located in Montcada square and the those thrones and the rest of the pieces were saved there.
And they all were still saved there when I left Santa Maria del Mar in 1998.
Later, I was told that the next priest, Mr. Taulé, secretly took the thrones. They disappeared and nobody was informed. When I visited the Palace they offered me some other valuous pieces.
Some of them were relocated inside the Capilla del Santísimo and there were still there until 2017. Now the Capilla del Santísimo is closed, and the pieces are gone.

The Sacristy and the Chapel of the "Santísimo", two of the most important treasures of Santa Maria del Mar, have been destroyed in order to restore an old window. In the same process, they are going to fit a new lift for the tourist visits...
The new bussiness orientation of the church has condemned parts of the Chapel.

The Chapel, years ago.

The Chapel, nowadays

More pictures and information on this link.

And more about the new business orientation. Without mass, tourist visits without taxes, "donating" 8 euros.

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


Francisco Armanya Font (1718-1803). Ecclesiastical and theologian. Bishop of Lugo and Archbishop of Tarragona. Short bio extracted from the article by Francesc Tort (Diccionario de Historia Eclesiástica)

Born in La Geltrú - joined at the end of the century to Villanueva - on June 3, l7l8, near the castle and the parish church. He died in the archiepiscopal palace of Tarragona on May 4, l803. His father Francisco was a sailor. His mother's family, Rosa, farmers. Tenth of twelve brothers: four died in childhood, four religious, including José, entered the convent of Dominicans of Santa Catalina de Barcelona and Mariano in the convent of Augustinian of the same city. Two got married. Francisco, finished his primary studies in the same Geltrú, at the age of eleven is sent with his brother José, at the time appointed teacher of the boarding school that the Dominicans had in Tremp (Lleida), where he perfected in Latin and attended philosophy. After two years, he returned to Geltrú with a bachelor's degree.

Francisco decided to follow in the footsteps of his brother Mariano, Augustinian, entering at the age of 14 the Augustinian of Barcelona (1732), professed (1734) and ordained priest (1742). Master of Novices (1743). Opposition to chairs at the University of Cervera (1746). His recognized erudition, especially in Theology and History, makes him be appointed (1748) full member of the Academy of Good Arts of Barcelona. In the same year, at the age of thirty, he is elected prior of the convent of Igualada. Secretary of the provincial (1750). Doctor and teacher (1751). Prior of the convent of San Agustín de Barcelona (1752-58), in whose priory the factory of the monumental church of San Agustín de Barcelona concludes.

In the chapter celebrated in Epila was elected, at forty years, provincial of the Augustinian of Aragon and Catalonia (l5-IV-1758). Concluded his triennium he is provincial prefect of studies, in whose period, from 1761 to 1768, works in the composition of his work Cursus Theologicus that could not finish when being named in 1768 bishop of Lugo. His condition as an Augustinian was always evident, though with equanimity.

Armanya can be defined as one of the most learned and enlightened bishops of Spain. Austere, pious, anti-Jesuit, philojansenist, filoregalist, monarchist, moderate Episcopalian, jealous and prudent shepherd. Master Latin, Greek, French. Speak and write Spanish perfectly.

In the context of the dissatisfaction manifested in Catalonia, graduates at the University of Cervera were not promoted to the episcopate and, above all, because of their political and religious profile, their election takes place at the headquarters of Lugo, including the Episcopal Dominion.

Armanyá in possession of the pontifical bulls, of which the Council of Castile retained the "Pro Vasallos" of the Pope, on August 28, 1768 was consecrated bishop by José Climent i Avinent in the temple of San Agustín. On October 25 he arrives in Lugo and on the 30th he takes possession of the bishopric.

Armanyá fit well in Lugo, and ater he is well received in Tarragona. In his transfer from Lugo to Tarragona he passes and stays in Madrid, Montserrat, Barcelona, and Villanueva and Geltrú. Having taken possession by on May 30, arrived in Tarragona on June 25, until September 18 does not make the solemn takeover. The pontificate of Armanyá in Tarragona follows, on the one hand, the ecclesial and canonical guidelines in use, and on the other the experience of his past 17 years in Lugo, as, for example, instituting the Liturgical Conferences in the archdiocese again, although with a democratic nuance that the presidents and secretaries were elected, for each of them, without episcopal intervention.

After having received King Carlos IV in the cathedral in 1802, having become seriously ill on May 2, 1803, he died on the 4th. Felix Amat preached the funeral oration in Tarragona. On the sixth of June the Augustinians of Barcelona celebrated the funeral at the Church of San Agustín. On the twenty-eighth of June a funeral service was held in Lugo preaching the Augustinian Jose Rolán.


Mr. Josep Mª Figueras i Bassols was born in the city of Barcelona on December 18, 1929, where he died on March 30, 1994. The older of four brothers, studied at the Virtelia School, then graduated in Law and Political Science at University of Barcelona, and later he went to George-Town, USA. In 1954, he married Mrs. Virginia Costa, and their children were named Bruno, Virginia, Carlos, Roman and Verta.
Mr. Josep Figueres was one of the most prominent and influential people in the social, economic and political life of Catalonia, Spain and Europe. His penetrating and respectful nature led him to glimpse the best of each person. He was a leader's and he liked to be surrounded with the best collaborators. The difficulties inherent in his high responsibilities, far from inhibiting him, always were managed properly. He was interested in all the ways and philosophies of living, thinking and organizing. He studied History, literature, music, the plastic arts... also he loved nature and sports.
It is not strange, as a gift, that a person of such eminent qualities achieved, in the peculiar coordinates of time and space, positions of maximum relevance, as, among others, that of President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona , an entity linked to Santa Maria del Mar which led him to maintain the best relationship with the church and with myself.
During the twelve years of his mandate, the Chamber achieved important goals, among others, that the arbitration of the “Consulat del Mar” regained the legal recognition that had been lost for years.
Mr. Figueres also emphasized doorways, within his family, in relations with his wife Virginia and their children. He was a “fascinating” husband and father, as his children asserted, someone who knew how to give himself up in the difficult art of education.
His main educational influence on the family was preaching with the examples of work, respect, prudence....

"The Lord is good to those who trust him, with all those who seek him. It is good to wait silently for the salvation of the Lord". Ee have read so in the first reading. This quote summarizes the research spirit, the delight of light, truth, certainty, rationality, the selective spirit of our brother Josep Mª.
Lacking the right answers, at the various levels of intelligence and imagination, about our origin and end, there are many who trust God but do not understand the future life. Doubt is an expression, a form of faith, of deep intellectual life, and, even of logic, as all, in fact, we move, navigate the sea of religion and thought, with insecure ships.
It is true that life is seriously inclined, but perhaps we attach too much importance to the body, to human life, and to society. In the end, for at least a few years of life, and some of us always, we believe we are creators and we do not realize that our body can be considered simply a replica of the spirit. Living in the body, we come to affirm both our material essence that we can not, almost, understand how it can be seen without eyes, feel without ears, think and remember without a brain. The best and normal thing would be to enjoy, without the material instrument of the body, anything that really exists outside of the body, which also remains outside of us when our human eyes are broken due to the old age, or due to death. From this point of view, which does not rely on scientific methodology, the needs of the body would be simple imperfections and their achievement substitutes of the spirit.
If someone does not admit the existence of paths more linked to the imagination than reason, how much our powers are mined, located in a medium that we can not fully understand, we can invade a certain anxiety. We had given so much importance to the body, we had felt so decisive, we had intervened, so swiftly awake, in the development of things, that we would not have told ourselves that, if everything ended in death, life would be like a game that He rules. All life, far from responding to chance, is a providence. We come from God and to Him we return.
All our past, or that we still kept in memory, or echoes the historical analysis, would have died if it had not been printed, assured, true, in God. Thoughts, the design of the high reach, the actions, the impulses of the heart of our beloved Mr. Josep Mª Figueras, the search for truth, the silent wait, everything would have ended, died, finished, if God was not the eternal guarantor. He is now with God, being upon us, who sought in the darkness, in the dark, the doubt, and with God he enjoys all the goods, his past and the good of communication. From this faith, almost universal, you, wife, children, relatives and friends can continue to enjoy the spiritual gift of their presence and communication. The Christian creed formulates this be with the dogma of the Communion of the Saints.


Sunday 32 during lʻany, 8-11-2020- 2011,2014,2017,2020.

Homilies preached by Mn. Tort, since he was appointed rector of Sant Pau del Camp de Barcelona in 2008, after having been rector of Santa María de Canyelles,
Saint Miquel Olèrdola, Saint Mary of the Sea of ​​Barcelona, ​​Saint Martin of the Clot.

Sant Pau del Camp since 2008, evening mass and Sunday at 12 noon. Always officiated by Mn. Tort himself, with special songs in the evening mass by the Soprano of the Liceo María Antonia Regueiro during the celebration. At the end, many faithful and many of the attendees stayed to listen to those songs.

On Sunday, the temple was always full with people standing because they could not sit down. Many faithful and tourists used to attend mass, to the liking of all ... before he came to destroy everything for their benefit. He had not yet been able to manipulate and make promises to any of those who, according to him, would set up infamy.

In the Solemnities, since 2008, the Chapel of Music began to act, founded by Mn. Tort at the beginning of his rectory in Santa María del Mar, continuing to this day without exception.

Thanks to Saint Paul and Saint Galdaric, co-patrons of the Brotherhood created again in Sant Pau del Camp, remembering their history.