Urbano Ferreiroa

La Tierra Santa. Su descripción y su portentosa historia, Valencia, 1896

Urbano Ferreiroa Millán was born in San Felix de Navío in the Spanish province of Orense in 1845 and died in 1901. He exercised a number of important functions for the Spanish Church, notably in the Nunciature, and was a Corresponding Member of the “Real Academia de la Historia”. He wrote numerous historical works, including a “History of the Popes” in nine volumes. His invaluable descriptions of the Holy Land (“The Holy Land. Its Description and Extraordinary History”) have recently been republished (2010) in the original Spanish; no English translation exists to date.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

“Beyond any doubt, the most important monument in Jerusalem, the one that guards the most holy relics for Christians, that incorporates within itself the memories of the most sublime events of the passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is the majestic Church of the Holy Sepulchre. All of the authors who have written about it are of one voice as to the profound impression received by all who visit this holy place.
Even apart from its religious sense, even regarding the site through unbelieving or indifferent eyes, the traveler cannot help but be profoundly moved by the majesty of the site, by the aura of fervent devotion emanating from all parts, by the memory of an event that, even had it not been of divine character, would have nonetheless represented a great and noble sacrifice for the good of all humanity.
Other churches come before the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in terms of size and wealth, for example those of St. Peter’s at the Vatican, of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, Milan Cathedral, and many others that we could cite. Nonetheless, none surpasses it in terms of the atmosphere of holiness and its mystic aspect, impelling the devote to prostrate themselves on the ground, to bow their heads in prayer with all their soul. Even among the incredulous and skeptical, the Church induces a sense of respect and, perhaps, veneration, without their even being aware of it and despite this being in direct opposition to their manner of thinking and feeling.”