Fray Tormenta

Fray Tormenta (b. 1945) is a Mexican priest who supported an orphanage for 23 years as a lucha libre wrestler. While performing, he wore a red and yellow mask. He is largely retired from wrestling, making only sporadic in-ring appearances, but still wears his mask even in his duties as a priest. Fray Tormenta means ‘Friar Storm’ in English. Father Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez had long been inspired to become a masked luchador after watching two 1963 Mexican films, ‘El Señor Tormenta’ (‘Mister Storm’) and ‘Tormenta En El Ring’ (‘Storm In The Ring’) both of which featured the story of a poor Mexican priest who supported the children of his orphanage by fighting as a lucha libre wrestler at night.

At age 22 he became interested in the priesthood and was inducted into the Piarists Order. His theological training took him to Rome, and then Spain, and for a while he taught philosophy and history at Roman Catholic universities in Mexico. He later became a secular priest in the Diocese of Texcoco, where he founded an orphanage. In need of money to take care of the children, the father became the masked wrestler known as Fray Tormenta. During that time he never let anyone know of his identity as a priest, explaining ‘No one would have taken me seriously as a wrestler had they known I was a priest.’

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