Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Eighty-six-year-old Trappist monk said he'd 'build it all again but twice as big'

Single-handedly built by an 86-tear-old former Trappist monk who had never laid a brick in his life, Mejorada del Campo's impressive cathedral appears to have been skillfully crafted by a team of architectural experts. The building's giant spires and magnificent dome rivals hat of St Peter's Basilica. It's hard to believe that it was built solely from construction castoffs and junk - reflecting the determination of builder Justo Gallego Martinez who has been laboring on the project since the 1960s.

After working as a farmer and bullfighter, the deeply religious Justo Martinez, who also goes under the name of Don Justo spent eight years at a Trappist monastery. He was forced to leave when he was struck down with tuberculosis in 1961.

After working as a farmer and bullfighter, the deeply religious Justo Martinez, who also goes under the name of Don Justo spent eight years at a Trappist monastery. He was forced to leave when he was struck down with tuberculosis in 1961.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/28/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Spain, Cathedral, Trappist monk, junk


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Martinez worked on the building over 12 miles from Madrid without architectural training. He vowed to build the cathedral after surviving a bout of tuberculosis.

Martinez spent five decades collecting the junk and discarded building material in order to build the 131 foot tall structure.

'Act of faith': Justo Gallego Martinez, known as Don Justo, has spent 50 years building a 131ft cathedral from junk in Mejorada del Campo, Spain.


After working as a farmer and bullfighter, the deeply religious Martinez, who also goes under the name of Don Justo spent eight years at a Trappist monastery. He was forced to leave when he was struck down with tuberculosis in 1961.

In his infirmity, he vowed that if he survived he would build a chapel and name it after the Virgin Mary to whom he prayed while he was sick.

Don Justo began building what he describes as his act of faith in 1963. Despite his lack of skills or building materials, is still working on the project today.

Work in progress: Despite five decades of painstaking toil, the cathedral is far from finished.

Work in progress: Despite five decades of painstaking toil, the cathedral is far from finished.


In spite of the skepticism of many friends and locals, Don Justo has remarkably managed to build the place of worship without the use of a crane.

The vast columns of the structure are made from empty oil drums, while the covering on one of the domes is made from discarded food tubes.

With its large dome and huge spires, the building is based on St Peter

With its large dome and huge spires, the building is based on St Peter's basilica in Rome and a variety of European churches and castles.


Working entirely on his own aside from occasional help from his six nephews, the cathedral is far from finished. Windows have been left unpainted and one of the domes remains to be covered. The floor also needs to be finished.

The inspiration of St Peter's Basilica with its huge central dome is plain to see, but Don Justo's ideas were also taken from the White House in the United States and a variety of European castles and churches.

Stunning: A huge dome made from plastic food tubs is the center-piece of the incredible structure.

Stunning: A huge dome made from plastic food tubs is the center-piece of the incredible structure.


"When I look at what I've created, it overwhelms me and I give thanks to the lord," he told reporters. "If I lived my life again, I'd build this cathedral again only bigger. Twice the size, because for me, this is an act of faith."

Never receiving planning permission, it has been allowed to stay by local authorities as it has become something of a tourist attraction.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

Benedict XVI to make public appearance? Watch

Image of Rumors of Benedict XVI making a public appearance have begun to circulate (Wordpress).

By Andrea Gagliarducci (CNA/EWTN News)

Former Pope Benedict XVI could appear in public once again on June 29, the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Speaking after the May 20 presentation of a book dedicated to Benedict XVI's pontificate, Archbishop Georg ... continue reading


Making a Difference: A Memorial Day reflection from America's late peace-priest Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

The best way to remember those who have been killed in battle is to work for the day when others will no longer be sent to take their place. Prayerfully reflecting on how to move away from war and war preparation should be central to every Memorial Day.Why do ... continue reading


Pope Francis on the Feast of the Holy Trinity Watch

Image of Pope Francis shares a message about the Holy Trinity (Pinterest).

By Ann Scneible (CNA/EWTN News)

The feast of the Holy Trinity is an invitation for us to commit to enriching our everyday relationships by promoting communion, consolation, and mercy, Pope Francis said during his weekly Sunday Angelus address. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "Our being created ... continue reading


Catholic Moral Teaching: Freedom, Choice and Truth Watch

Image of Our Moral Life in Christ.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading


Vatican claims Third Secret of Fatima is fully revealed... But isn't that how coverups work? Watch

Image of Has the Third Secret been released in its entirety? The Vatican insists it has.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ever since the reveal of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000, several people have insisted there's more to the secret than what the public was told. These rumors have taken a life of their own, prompting the Holy See to speak out against them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


What is the difference between the possessed and the mentally ill? Watch

Image of How to tell the difference between the mentally ill and the possessed (The Devil Inside/YouTube).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Recognizing the difference between a person who's possessed and a person struggling with a mental illness or other infirmity is a vital part of the ministry of exorcism, according to a long-time exorcist and priest. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Father Cipriano de Meo, ... continue reading


'Lord, have mercy!': Over 2,000 people witness miracle in the skies Watch

Image of Jesus appeared in Mexico's skies (wallpapersinhq).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

It's a major miracle that you've probably never heard of. Lima, Peru (CNA/EWTN News) - On Sunday, Oct. 3, 1847, more than 2,000 people in Ocotlán, Mexico saw a perfect image of Jesus Christ crucified that appeared in the sky for more than 30 minutes.Approved by the ... continue reading


'The blood you have sucked from of all these people ... is a cry to the Lord': Pope Francis calls for justice Watch

Image of Pope Francis spoke of oppression and exploitation during his homily (Pinterest).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

During his Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis preached a warning to the rich who oppress the poor, focusing on employers who accumulate wealth by misusing those who work for them. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "We consider this drama of today: the exploitation of ... continue reading


'I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome': Live exorcism recorded at Vatican? Watch

Image of The Exorcist director, William Friedkin, asked to record real exorcism at the Vatican (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

William Friedkin, the director of famous horror film "The Exorcist," described a time he was invited to document a real exorcism at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to AFP, Friedkin shared his experience at the Cannes film festival Thursday ... continue reading


5 ways the devil attacks you and what the Bible says you should do about it Watch

Image of When are you most vulnerable and how to handle it (InColors).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We all have bad days - but did you know the devil preys on you when you are the most vulnerable? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Life is never easy for long. Children, work, school and illness often interfere with the plans we've made for ourselves, and it is ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer to Holy Michael the Archangel HD Video
  • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Benedict XVI to make public appearance?
  • Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic ...
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More