Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/28/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote a ... continue reading


Pope Francis says that if law 'doesn't get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be a rebuke to legalism within the church, Pope Francis declared in his morning homily that if laws do not lead people to Christ then they are obsolete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scholars of the law in Jesus's day, Pope Francis ... continue reading


Monday, October 13 - Homily: Columbus Day Watch

Image of Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples? continue reading


Learning the Christian Way of Active Prayer and Prayerful Action Watch

Image of The Lord invites us to ask, knock, seek and persist in prayer. Prayer is a path to a new way of living in continual communion with God. That leads to fruitful and effective action. The way of active prayer and prayerful action is the Christian Way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Too many people draw a separation between prayer and action which can fail to understand the integrated Christian Way of Life. The two should not be separated. The two cannot be separated. St. Luke's account of the teaching of the Lord on the call to active ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter