For 53 years, “Don” Justo Gallego has been building a cathedral by hand on the outskirts of Madrid almost entirely by himself. Gallego has no formal architecture or construction training, but that hasn’t stopped him from toiling on this herculean task.

During the 1950’s Don Justo was a Trappist monk but prior to taking his vows—Don Justo Gallego Martinez was asked to leave the order.

Heartbroken and determined to dedicated his life to God, Don Justo began laying the foundations of a great cathedral with his own hands on a plot of land bequeathed to him by his parents.

Modeled after Saint Peter’s, the 86,000 sq. ft. Cathedral has been constructed completely by hand out of mostly recycled and scrap material: the stained glass is made with ground glass and glue, the huge dome is made from plastic food tubs, the pillars are concrete, cast using oil drums, etc.

At 90 years old, Gallego knows that he will not be able to finish the project in his lifetime. But he keeps at it anyway, day after day, driven by his faith.


  1. God bless this man! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could live long enough to see someone come to help him, so that he would know his work would be completed?

    His faith is awesome.


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