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The ray that changed the history of San Juan in Jerez

The ray that changed the history of San Juan in Jerez

The ray that changed the history of San Juan in Jerez

It is not a kabbalistic or round number. But it is an ephemeris like any other May 10, regardless of whether thirty-nine will be more or ...
Comments Sunday, May 10, 2020
The ray that changed the history of San Juan in Jerez

It is not a kabbalistic or round number. But it is an ephemeris like any other May 10, regardless of whether thirty-nine will be more or less beautiful. Today is the anniversary since a lightning strike in 1981 fell on the bell tower of the church of San Juan de los Caballeros and took not only the canopy of the beautiful Virgen de los Remedios, but also the illusions of three brotherhoods that had lived together for years: Rosario de Capataces y Costaleros, La Vera Cruz and the Cristo del Amor. A temple that, after this serious event, had to be closed sine die.

It all happened in the afternoon. He entered like an exhalation and covered with fire an ancient spiral staircase that led to the bell tower. There were the belongings of the Brotherhood of Love and the Lady's canopy, released in 1978, which was struck down.

Juan Luis León, the older brother of Amor, comments that “negotiations were made with Bishop Don Rafael Bellido but we did not find the shelter that we would have wanted. It was the Augustinian sisters of Santa María de Gracia who welcomed us for a few years. ” The brotherhood came from the Cathedral and the rest of the year the images were worshiped in the "Santa Rita" monastery. Specifically, these departures took place from 1982 to 1987. “If the brotherhood of Love exists today, it was because of the courage of those confreres who preceded us and who fought like Titans. They are owed the purchase of the land where the current chapel was built, "Juan Luis now recalls. Jerez brothers such as Miguel Macías, Diego Rodríguez Montenegro, Jerónimo Palomo and the great work that Juan Antonio Cardín, Manolo León, Jesús Fernández, Pepe Verdugo or Pepe Soto did. Separate chapter for Mrs. Victorina Cabanillas Ysasi who contacted Heritage in the Government of Madrid for the restoration of San Juan. However, Don Rafael said no; and there was no way to carry out our project to rehabilitate the temple once it closed, "says the older brother.

The ray of San Juan de los Caballeros marked a before and after in the modest brotherhood of Love. “Now, with the passage of time, perhaps there is no evil that for good does not come. Fortunately we are in our chapel and we have a very intense life of brotherhood thanks to the fact that we have facilities that have been built according to our brotherly taste, ”says Juan Luis León. To Love, “nobody gave us anything,” he says. Perhaps Don Rafael was poorly advised at the time and he was told stories that had nothing to do with our brotherhood. It is possible that this type of comment closed our hands ”.

Vera Cruz

The other great victim was the brotherhood of Vera Cruz who had to seek refuge in the old school of the Marianists in Porvera. For a few years, the brotherhood had to leave from a ship located on Gaitán street. In an article published in the magazine where the brotherhood celebrates its 475 years of life, the circumstances that had to live in those hard years are narrated. The article cites that finally "the newly created Diocese of Asidonia-Jerez decides to cede the temple to the brotherhood with the conclusion of rehabilitating it for divine worship." An escalation of hard work in which “there were multiple actions carried out to make the impossible possible. From this time, it is fair to acknowledge the efforts of the then older brother, Juan Torreira Vaca, who, given his condition as an architect, implemented the commitment he had acquired with the Church. ” Furthermore, the article cites historical names such as Diego Ruíz Pérez. Also the mayor of the city at the time, Pedro Pacheco, and the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía, especially its vice-minister, Luis García Garrido. In the year 1988, thanks to the work of many anonymous brothers and many efforts by their governing boards, on May 22, Don Rafael Bellido Caro proceeded by decree to consecrate the church for worship under the dedication of the Santa Cruz and San Juan Evangelista.

The work of the brotherhood did not end there, but once the temple had been rehabilitated, it has been followed for decades working in depth on the rehabilitation of this temple to the point of recovering a historical place such as the Chapel of the Jura that was rescued in the year. 2014. If today this temple is open to worship, it is thanks to the work of the Vera Cruz confreres.

The compañía Sala Compañía ’in the Temple of San Juan
Once the temple was closed, the hot potato fell into a newly created Diocese with little funds to face such an important rehabilitation. It was an almost pharaonic work that San Juan de los Caballeros needed. During the years it was closed, it was used as looting and a meeting place for homeless people and drug addicts. The looting, the looting, the breaking of stained glass windows and the desecration of tombs turned the space into a manure dump. No one wanted to take on the costly regeneration of the temple. An attempt was made to yield to the Union of Brotherhoods or to the Neocatechumenal communities. They all looked the other way. The only solution was the transfer to the City Council. However, the Bishopric demanded a destination for Christian worship. Mayor Pedro Pachecho wanted to start the project for the current Sala Compañía in San Juan. Place of shows, theater, musical concerts and cultural events. The time elapsed due to the lack of agreement between the Diocesan Church and the Consistory ran in favor of Vera Cruz who, when she had a viable project, could present it and finally be the solution to a temple that, according to Pacheco said on some occasion, “if not it intervenes soon it will fall any day ”. Fortunately, it is still standing and dedicated to Christian worship.


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