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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Living Faith

No school days for working children

Image of

By Tony Magliano

It's that time again when adults take off to celebrate Labor Day, and kids head back to the adventures a new school year. But for millions of children worldwide the adventures of a new school year remain but a dream. Sadly, these children will never learn to read or ... continue reading


Catholic lawmakers asked by Pope to rally for pro-life, immigrants and persecuted Christians Watch

Image of The Holy Father was presented with a document by lawmakers outlining their commitment to promoting life in their respective nations, especially in areas of abortion, Christian persecution, and migration.

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

On Sunday, Pope Francis urged Catholic legislators to be protectors of human life, calling them to "be strong" against a throwaway culture marked by Christian persecution, and the rejection of the unborn and migrants. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The pontiff ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis' visit end in disaster? Residents say organizers don't have their act together Watch

Image of Mayor Nutter unveils the 'I'll Be There' campaign to encourage shop owners to stay open during the papal visit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Philadelphia residents are stressing over the upcoming Papal visit, and for good reason. Preparations for the visit appear ad hoc and are being poorly communicated to the community, according to locals. LOA ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Will Pope Francis' visit to ... continue reading


Bishop Melki, executed after he refused to convert to Islam in 1915 has been beatified Watch

Image of Pope Francis earlier this month confirmed Bishop Melki's beatification saying he was killed in hatred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Martyred during the Assyrian Genocide in 1915, Bishop Melki is on the road towards sainthood with his beatification this past weekend. Killed in Gazarta during the sayfo, or "putting to the sword" of Syrians in 1915, he was killed after he refused to convert to ... continue reading


For the first time we can see how BEAUTIFUL the 'real' Saint Rose was. Scientists have reconstruct her likeness Watch

Image of According to the news site Peru Catolico, the researchers said the reconstruction shows she was

By CNA/EWTN News

The face of the first saint of the New World may be better known than ever; thanks to a team of scientists, that has analyzed the skull of Saint Rose of Lima. Lima, Peru (CNA/EWTN News) - Scientists from the University of Saint Martin de Porres in Peru and the ... continue reading


Quest for God is modern world's biggest challenge, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says Watch

Image of The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis will gather Sept. 28-30 to discuss the theme set them by their former professor.

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

Benedict XVI considers the quest for God to be contemporary society's foremost challenge, according to one of the emeritus Pope's former students, who has organized the annual meeting of Ratzinger's students to discuss that very topic. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Changing your HEART, not just behavior is a vital part of conversion process, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

In his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis said that merely obeying the rules isn't enough to make us holy, but that if we truly want to serve God our conversion has to be deeper, changing the heart. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's not exterior things which ... continue reading


Pilgrimage with Pope Francis - THIRD STATION - St. Joachim, patron of fathers

Image of St. Joachim, pray for us!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Welcome to the third station on our virtual pilgrimage to Philadelphia with Pope Francis ahead of the World Meeting of Families. Let us pray! About St. JoachimBy tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. After ... continue reading


Priest to lead pilgrims on 104 mile walk to see Pope Francis in Philly - Here's how you too can make a pilgrimage Watch

Image of Pilgrims in Scotland make a Good Friday trek burdened with crosses. Many Catholics around the world still make pilgrimages, even if they are the work of just a day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An intrepid group of about 20 pilgrims will be making the 104 mile walk from Baltimore to Philadelphia to attend Mass with Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Remember, our Lord walked to all of his appointments," Fr. John J. Lombardi told Catholic ... continue reading


Atheists force portrait of Jesus out of Kansas public school Watch

Image of The portrait of Jesus that has been on display at the school since the 1950s.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Local residents in Chanute, Kansas expressed anger after the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation successfully filed a petition for the removal of a portrait of Jesus Christ, which had been hanging for over 60 years in a Kansas public school.   ... 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, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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