Madman of the Cathedral
There’s a small village on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain called Mejorada del Campo. It’s mostly an unknown location except for one resident who has been building a cathedral there for over fifty years.
Justo Gallego Martínez was born in 1925. In 1961 he had a dream and immediately started to pursue it. He began building without any formal education in engineering or architecture. He says that what he’s doing is not something one can study; it’s something one carries on the inside.
A lot of the material he uses are recycled or left overs from other constructions. Most of the time he works alone because he says that most people just make a mess and need to be constantly controlled. However, one man has been working with him for the last ten years as his assistant. His name is Angel Lopez Sanchez.
A few generous sponsors help to keep the dream going. Some help financially, while others donate building materials.
Every day brings a fresh set of tourists who come to see the building and to meet Justo. Sometimes it’s a distraction from his work, but he enjoys talking to them.
Some of Justo’s family members have a hard time handling the life he has chosen. There was a time when six of his nephews helped with the construction but then one day they had a serious fall out. The villagers claim that the men are just an ungrateful bunch. Apparently Justo built houses for each one of them and now they want nothing to do with him. One man claims that they are desperately waiting for Justo to die so they can inherit his cathedral. Justo says they probably want to kill him because they’re angry.
Justo inherited a large portion of land from his grandfather. Over time, he sold most of it. Today only one olive grove remains. Justo planted the trees in this grove when he was 18 years old and wanted to become a farmer.
Allegedly, Justo set out in search of a woman as beautiful as the Virgin Mary. Because he was unable to find one, he decided to stay with Mary and become a monk. He claims to have kept himself pure both spiritually and physically, so he has never been with a woman. Even though he had to leave the monastery a long time ago due to a bout of tuberculosis, he continues to uphold his beliefs and moral standards. For instance there’s a strict dress code for entering his cathedral. No shorts or sleeveless tops are allowed.
On Saturdays and Sundays, Justo switches from builder to preacher. He gathers a group of young people and encourages them to read their bibles and remain faithful to their Catholic faith. He says all other Christian denominations are sects, because Christianity was brought directly to Rome from Israel.
What will become of this famous cathedral? Find out now.