Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Although I'm not much of anything when it comes to religion, I couldn't help but be impressed by a man who has devoted the past 50 years of his life to building a cathedral all by himself. The simple story is that he was unable to continue his life as a monk when he contracted tuberculosis and was ejected from his monastery by those who feared contagion. Another I've read is that he was so devout he fasted himself close to starvation and when he became ill the worried Benedictines decided he'd best not return. He did recover and resolved to build a cathedral on part of his family's farm near Madrid, selling off parcels of land to buy what he could and scavenging at building sites for what he could use. With no architectural training, or any drawn plans, Don Justo simply started to build.
Looking at the galleries of pictures on the website you can see pillars made from cement cylinders that were moulded in plastic buckets, concrete heads of Christ and the Apostles standing on spikes, a staircase built of misshapen bricks, and circular windows whose forms were made from tires. The rickety ladders and scaffolding are enough to make any building inspector cry in frustration but Don Justo has never had an accident.
I loved this quote by him, 'I appreciate the art in many things but all beauty now is ruined by money. There is so much confusion and distraction in the world so I see myself as a martyr. Every man should be a saint.'
El Loco de la Catedral from James Rogan on Vimeo.
It's nice to know there are some who try.
Best wishes to all who do.