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As terrorists attacked, one church opened its doors. Here's what happened next

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
8/23/2017 (6 months ago)
Catholic Online (

Basilica in Barcelona sheltered 800 people during attacks.

During the terrorist attacks in Barcelona on August 17, hundreds of people fled the area and sought refuge where they could find it. Stores locked their doors. But one place opened theirs, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.


By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (
8/23/2017 (6 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Barcelona, terror, attack, van, basilica, shelter

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - As thousands of people fled for their lives fromt he terror attacks in Barcelona on August17, everyone locked their doors against the danger. That is everyone except the clergy at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.

The basilica threw open its doors to gather in as many people seeking refuge as possible.

The church stands next to one of the streets where the attack occurred. Fourteen people were killed in terrorist attacks that day, almost all of them within sight of the basilica.

By the time the police arrived on scene and ordered the basilica to lock down and close its doors, 800 people had been packed inside. Nobody was allowed in or out while police secured the area and resolved the threat.

The police provided updates to the clergry, and inside the basilica, staff passed along the information in various languages. Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, attracting people from around the globe. The people were calmed by the kindness and courage of the basilica's clergy and staff.

After an extended period of time, a bakery and a cafe asked the police if they could deliver food and water to the people inside. Police granted permission and the bakery cleared its shelves and the cafe provided water to the thirsty people locked inside.

After three hours, the lockdown was lifted and people were permitted to go home or to their hotels.

Despite the danger, the Church did what it has always done in times of tribulation. It opens its doors to those in need. Recently, at the direction of Pope Francis, the church has taken in refugees fleeing terror and persecution in the Middle East.

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