The Builder

An old man dies in Spain at 96

All his life the builder of a church

In childhood days he saw his church ransacked

And priests shot dead

The Spanish Civil War


He joined the Trappist monks

But could not stay

Tubercolosis took his health away

Undaunted he promised the Madonna

He’d build a shrine if cured

In her honour


Sixty years he laboured at his work

A strange concoction

A cathedral built from junk

What strange propulsion

Kept him at his work

That childhood sight – destruction

Of his church

He would repair make good

This gave him worth


Each one of us

Is called to build a church

The building of our life

As best we can

Take what is there around you

And raise it from the earth

And let your life praise God

And reach the sky


Brian Fahy

31 May 2022


+ Justo Gallego Martinez (1925 – 2021) is the subject of this story.

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