Mar 182011

Andorra Aug 7-8, 2015

Sanctuary of Meritxell

Sanctuary of Meritxell

We arrived in Andorra (or the full version: “Principality of Andorra”) in the afternoon of Aug 7th. On the way to Andorra La Vella (Andorra the city), we stopped at the sanctuary of Meritxell, which is the patron saint of Andorra. It’s said that Andorra draws it identity from this saint. We prayed into this and for the people of Andorra to find their identity in their maker, the God of the universe.

Andorra's old and new parliament

Andorra’s old and new parliament

Next day, we had a guided tour of the old parliament building, before praying between the old and the new building. The old was full of charm and personality. The new was impersonal and cold. It was obvious that something had been lost or died on the way. We prayed a lot into this and for Andorra to find their identity. It was striking to see the exposition called “the lost or hidden heritage” in the hall of the new parliament building, with statues of people blind folded. There seemed to be two major things being the cause of this lost identity.

Andorra being a tax haven seemed to be one. The money and finances had made them lose their identity. They were basically living for Mammon and thus serving him which is in conflict with God and serving Him (Matt 6:24). We prayed a lot into this at the government and at the council for financial credit.

Urgell's bishopric

Urgell’s bishopric

The other seemed to be the influence of the Catholic church. We mentioned Meritxell, but the bishopric in the nearest city in Spain, Urgell, seemed to put a negative yoke on Andorra. From there the bishop ruled Andorra through both religious and political power. The French president and this bishop are supposed to supervise the integrity and the pariage of Andorra. This political situation started with a treaty in 1278 after 2-300 years of tension and conflict for power.

The French president has other things to do and the bishop lives only 10 km away, so his influence was much bigger in reality. The hunger for power had certainly been a negative influence on Andorra.

Resistance's place to be rebuilt

Resistance’s place to be rebuilt

We also went to pray at a place where the Lords of the Andorran valleys had lived before the treaty of 1278 was made. They had stood up to protect the peoples in the valley. The place was now in ruins, which by itself was very revelatory. Andorra had just started to make this place to a memorial place. There were public guides telling the history. But it was difficult to find the place, there were no parking and no clear sign indicating the place. The area was fenced-in and some signs had been put up, but otherwise there were a lot of ruins. There is a lot of work of restoration to be done, but it might be key to the redemption of the Andorran’s identity. We pleaded for that in our prayers.