Few of us have the commitment or passion that Justo Gallego Martinez has shown for the last 51 years as he has, almost exclusively on his own, built a Cathedral outside of Madrid SPAIN. Regularly working 10+ hours a day where “principal source of enlightenment has been, before anything, Christ’s evangelism.” I can only hope to have his conviction and passion over the course of my life.
So far, after 51 years of work, the cathedral has a library, cloisters, priests’ homes, a baptistry, a crypt, and a towering 200-foot central dome, which took 20 years to build, along with two-dozen smaller towers. An ad hoc building style utilizes old car wheels to shape arches, highway paving blocks to make the plaza, and empty oil drums stacked inside columns. Martinez calls the practice “natural architecture.” But, the work is far from complete: thousands of windows await decoration, spiral staircases lead to nowhere, and the floors and giant dome are still uncovered.
My favorite line in the story is at the very end:
“If I lived my life again, I’d build this church again, only bigger. Twice the size,” Martinez once told the BBC. “Because, for me, this is an act of faith.”
Call me inspired by his example. Reading the inspiring article (about 5 minutes).
Photo by Eric Vandeville/GAMMA