Mondeño, the bullfighter who felt the call of God and became a monk

Rosario Perez


Updated:04/28/2020 01:45


This is the story of Juan García, Mondeño in the posters, the bullfighter who was a bullfighter before a friar. Born on January 7, 1934 in a humble family -His father was a senior guard on a farm-, his beginnings walked hand in hand with poverty.

Like so many luggage, Mondeño left his native Puerto Real with no more luggage than a shoulder bag. In an effort to get his people out of misery, he toured the streets and had days with no other refuge than that of your faith in God. On the verge of turning twenty, he first set foot in a ring, the Cadiz of San Fernando, in 1953. Three seasons later he would begin his journey with horses. And in June 1958 he debuted in Sales to dispatch cattle from the Marquis of Villamarta.

The ceremony of alternative It took place in Seville -in the Maestranza it enjoyed a great poster-, on March 29, 1959, at the hands of Antonio Ordóñez and in the presence of Manolo Vázquez, with bulls by Raimunda Moreno de Guerra, wife of Carlos Núñez. The confirmation It would arrive on May 17, on a rainy afternoon, suspended to the third bull. Antonio Ordóñez, who starred in his famous task “Bilbilarga”, yielded to Bilbainito, number 24, of Atanasio Fernández, a bull that threw 496 kilos of weight.

In the early years of the sixties, as the unforgettable told us José Luis Suárez-Guanes, shared glories with Puerta, Camino, El Viti, Romero, Miguelín and Ostos.

Punished by the bulls, the bullfighting pages speak of its value and mysticism, who reminded many, like the aforementioned sage of the history of bullfighting, to Jose Tomas. They say that his crutch impregnated a special magnetism and was the architect of what was called mondeñina, who with such a personal seal interpreted the remembered Iván Fandiño. “He gave the bull a winged manoletina that was looking for a collected chapel full of prayers …”, he wrote. His faith always present, at the bottom of any arena, of any task. Or in the foreground … And when he had everything, he decided to leave, they say that distributing his assets among his relatives and leaving his friend Antonio Ordóñez as custodian of a charity festival he organized.

In 1963 he announced his retirement when he felt the call of God and decided to enter the Dominican convent of Caraluega (Burgos). He changed the dress of lights for the monk habit. “The following year it leaves the monastery – points out the «Bullfighters Dictionary» from Espasa-. He decides to return to his bullfighting profession and in December 1965 he prepares the reappearance in the bullring ». Lisbon was the chosen scenario in March, while the Spanish would set foot in April of the 66. It remained active until 1970, and that return fought in Mexico, where they nicknamed him “The rebellious novice”.

Their rebellion and their humility were also reflected in their toasts to sandboxes and monosabios. “Some said that he imitated ManoleteAlthough he never actually saw it, “Suarez-Guanes pointed out. His majesty loomed in that tattooed face of handsomeness and sweet bitterness». Mondeño, the bullfighter of divinity.


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