Mass on November 7, 1982 / PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

On November 7, 1982, the Camp Nou enjoyed a historic moment. For the first time ever the Pope gave mass in Catalonia. The stadium was packed to the rafters with 120,000 people, an attendance only ever matched three years later for the European Cup quarter final between Barça and Juventus on March 5, 1986. And that record will not be broken in the foreseeable future, for the current capacity of the Camp Nou is 99,354.

Full and silent Camp Nou

Although it had been pouring with rain for most of the day, the faithful stoically withstood the weather and filled the Camp Nou, which had been expanded the precious summer for the World Cup. An immense altar was placed before the grandstand, next to which there was a two-thousand strong choir conducted by the director of the Coral Sant Jordi, Oriol Martorell. Shortly prior to the commencement of the communion, John Paul II said some words in Catalan to an exceptionally silent stadium.

A number of dignitaries, many in representation of FC Barcelona, were seated in the box. These included the president of the Generalitat, Jordi Pujol; the assistant councillor to the Presidency of the Generalitat, Miquel Coll i Alentorn and the Mayor of Barcelona, Narcís Serra. The president of the Club, Josep Lluís Núñez, and his wife, followed the ceremony from the area next to the altar.

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