Office for pilgrims
The basilica Mare de Déu de la Merced was appointed Patron Saint of Barcelona in 1687 by the Consell de Cent, in gratitude for the immediate remission of a plague of locusts and a period of drought which were the origin of an epidemic of plague and famine that swept across the city and its surroundings for months, causing a great mortality amongst the population. The city of Barcelona turned to la Mare de Déu de la Mercé in prayer and considered that it was her intercession which brought back normality to the city. Since then she is considered the “Princess of Barcelona” and “Protector of the city”.
In 1868 at the request of the Bishop of Barcelona D. Pantaleón Montserrat, Pius IX, canonically proclaimed the Virgin of la Merced Patron Saint of the city and diocese. From that year on the 24th of September has been established as the feast day of the Patron Saint.
On 21st October, 1888 Bishop Dr. Jaime Catalá i Albosá crowns her canonically on behalf of Pope Leo XIII.
In 1959 a bronze statue is placed on top of the Dome of the basilica, in place of the one that was destroyed in the revolution of 1936.
All these dates and events are an expression of the profound devotion that the population of this city feels for the Virgin de la Merced. There are many women who bear her name, there are many couples who have got married in the Basilica and many families have wanted their children to be christened at the foot of the statue of the Virgin of la Merced. There are also many people who have wanted to leave this world celebrating their funeral in the basilica before the image that practically saw them enter this world when they were presented to Her newly born. This explains why, on 24th September, the people of Barcelona come in thousands to visit their Patron saint and light candles and offer her flowers as a sign of their love and devotion.
And this explains too why so many groups of pilgrims from the rest of Spain and other parts of the world want to take advantage of their visit to the city to see the Princess of Barcelona and attend Holy Mass in the Main Altar, or in one of the chapels of the Sanctuary; or also to celebrate other acts of prayer: Holy Hour, para-liturgies, say the rosary ……
Furthermore, if you would like to hold a private religious ceremony, you may do so by making a reservation in advance. The rector and the staff of the basilica are available to assist, advise and help you in the preparation thereof.
If a group or family wish to reserve a day and time to celebrate Mass or any other kind of devotional function, please contact the secretary of the basilica. This may be done by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 93 315 27 56
As a sanctuary that shelters the Patron Saint of the city, the basilica of the Mare de Déu de la Mercè, joyfully receives all those people, families and groups who want to visit the Virgin of la Merced, to pray before her or carry out a private celebration, whether it is of Eucharistic nature or any other kind.
Our mission is to help them and do everything possible to facilitate their desire of prayer, or their celebration or private reunions.
We dispose of:
- THE MAIN ALTAR of the Basilica, at the foot of the image of the Virgin of la Merced, is the most significant and noble area of the Basilica. It is ideal for large groups up to 300 people.
- THE CHAPEL OF THE SANTÍSIMO (The Blessed Sacrament), is next to the left aisle of the Basilica. It is of small dimensions and has the capacity for a maximum of 30 people. It is intimate and cosy. It was restored a few years ago and has a small altarpiece dedicated to the angels. It is ideal for family celebrations.
- THE CHAPEL OF DESCENT, is an ancient chapel of the Escolanía, next to the chapel of Our Lady, on the upper floor, with a capacity of about 50 people and is suitable for celebrations in a more reserved, private and silent environment. This chapel is presided by a gothic-style image of the Virgin which, by all accounts, was situated over the main door of the ancient Gothic church previous to the present basilica; and on both sides of it there are two captives each holding a lamp.
- Lastly, below the sacristy, we have a library/multi- purpose room for meetings of small groups (max. 10-12 people) with complete audiovisual equipment.
To reserve your celebration, please contact the secretary of the Basilica, Ms. Amalia Llopart, by phone: 93 315 27 56 or by e-mail email@example.com
The basilica of la Merced is a church which has so much to show just as much as an artistic level as architecturally or historically; or as much for what it is, as what it has been and for what it still means for the city. Without a good explanation conducted by professional qualified people that reveals what is hidden behind the apparent, you cannot know what this Basilica means to Barcelona and the whole of Catalonia. It is not a coincidence that it forms part of the artistic-architectural treasures both being catalogued as (BIC) Bien de Interés Cultural ( Asset of Cultural Interest), object of a special care and protection on behalf of public organizations.
A thoroughly guided visit can take about two hours, although it usually takes 45 to 50 minutes. Our guides are specialized university graduates who carry out their function in various languages: Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Italian, German …
With them you can get to know from another prospective, parts of the basilica accessible to the public and other parts to which only they have access that will surprise you; even on specific types of visits, you can enjoy a private organ audition as a culmination of it. Do not forget that the basilica owns one of the best organs in Spain, manufactured by the famous organ builder Gerhard Grenzing.
We also receive visits from schools and colleges. In accordance with the teachers, our guides can prepare teaching units so that the visit to the basilica becomes quite amusing but at the same time educational. There are also school visits based on a more musical theme, focused on our wonderful organ with the help of our instructor, the organist Héctor Paris, a music teacher specialized in primary and secondary education. He will help the children and young people to know the “mysteries of music” in an enjoyable way, unraveling the secrets of the most famous melodies whether they are classical or current ones.
To arrange visits in groups or private ones you must contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brotherhood of la Merced
The Brotherhood has its origin in the “Pía Asociación de Devotos de la Virgen de la Merced. Patrona de Barcelona” founded in October,1956. On 20th July,1964 by decree of the Archbishop of Barcelona Excmo. y Rvdmo. D. Gregorio Modrego, it obtained new statutes and was named “Hermandad de la Virgen de la Merced, Patrona de Barcelona”(Brotherhood of the Virgin of la Merced, Patron saint of Barcelona).
The main objective of the Brotherhood is to encourage the worship of the Virgin of la Merced, at the same time promoting the splendor of the cult which has been dedicated to the temple, Santuario de la Ciudad Condal, (Sanctuary of Barcelona), for centuries and likewise join both effects in the animation of works of social redemption in accordance to the needs of our time and Mercedarian spirit.
The aim of the Brotherhood of la Merced is:
*To encourage the worship of the Virgin of la Merced, Patron Saint of the Archdiocese and the city of Barcelona
- a) To make known the spirituality and history of her worship.
- b) To promote that the Basilica is, by far, the Marian Sanctuary of Barcelona.
- c) To encourage activities in the Basilica, according to the spirit of the Brotherhood, inviting all faithful Christians and especially the Brothers to participate with their attendance.
*To preserve and improve the dignity of the Basilica To take care of the maintenance of the Basilica, both the interior and the exterior.
*To study and disseminate the adaptation of the Mercedarian spirit for the eradication of the marginalization of each historical moment.
- a) To promote social care activities in Barcelona, and in particular in the neighbourhood of the Sanctuary of la Merced.
- b) To collaborate with the parish and with the Mercedarian Order in order to achieve their own aims (article3º)….
The Brotherhood of la Merced collaborates satisfactorily with the material needs of the Basilica but also works closely with Cáritas Parroquial de la Mercè in their charitable works attending the poor and needy of the neighbourhood: with food, clothes, the building of sanitary facilities to help the homeless take care of their personal hygiene …
Furthermore they identify and collaborate ecomomically with the works of the foundation, Fundación Obra Mercedaria, in favour of convicts, their families. Projects in marginal areas, missions in poor countries ……
If you wish to form part of this family of Brothers of la Merced, and do your bit with the preservation of worshiping the Mare de Déu de la Mercè and helping the people in need, call us on our phone (weekdays, from 10 to 13h) and we will give you the necessary information: 933 190 190.
Also by e-mail, writing to : email@example.com
Weekdays from 10:00 to 13:00
Tel. 93 3190190
Amics de la Mercè (Friends of la Mercè)
AMICS DE LA MERCÉ is an association which intends to bring together all those who feel devoted to la Mare de Déu de la Mercè , love the Basilica and what it signifies, and want to collaborate with the specific works of Mercedarian charisma in favour of the poor, marginalized and destitute.
In order to form part of this association the only thing you have to do is apply by filling in the form in writing which can be downloaded at the end of this page. Once it has been filled in, it can be sent by post to the address of the basilica or scanned in pdf at this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The members of AMICSDELAMERCÉ will receive the weekly parish paper ECOS DE LA MERCED in their e-mail with all the news related to the activities of the Basilica and other material for their Christian formation like the three-monthly magazine PROYECTO LIBERTAD; both publications are absolutely free.
Also throughout the year, they will receive invitations to take part in some of the cultural activities of the basilica: choir concerts, organ concerts, short excursions, … The only remuneration is voluntary, in concrete campaigns in favour of the parish Cáritas so as to help the destitute or in favour of the Fundación Obra Mercedaria which helps to prevent delinquency, marginalization or convicts’ reintegration.
My name is Mercè too
In Barcelona and in all Spain, even abroad, many women are called Mercè or Mercedes, the name of the Patron Saint of this wonderful city.
From this Basilica we would like to acknowledge them and encourage many parents who want to give their daughters this beautiful name. The fact that they have this name already links them to this temple and everything that Mercè means in a special way.
If you are called Mercè or Mercedes and wish to take part , you must complete the registration form that you will find in the link and also the signed Alpha Card to enable to store your details. You can send both documents by post to the address of the basilica or scanned to this e-mail address: email@example.com
We await you!