Watch as Malaga’s flamenco priest, in a polka dot stole, dances his way into Christmas

"There is no greater joy than feeling like a child of God, and I try to convey that message in this way," says Planas, who exudes joy and optimism


It has become a regular part of the build-up to Christmas. José Planas, the parish priest of Malaga’s Miraflores de los Ángeles neighbourhood, has once again delighted parishioners with his flamenco dancing to celebrate of the birth of Jesus.

It was on 12 December, Gaudete Sunday, a day in which the Church relaxes the austere and penitential nature of the Advent season, when Planas again demonstrated his art, dancing in the parish church at the end of the mass, accompanied by a musical group.

Planas says he feels flamenco as something natural (his mother's grandfather was a gypsy) and he has demonstrated it on many occasions. This year, he did not hesitate to kick off his shoes and start dancing with the members of the musical group and some parishioners, while wearing a polka dot stole.

Lost sister to cancer

"There is no greater joy than feeling like a child of God, and I try to convey that message in this way," says Planas who exudes joy and optimism, something very necessary in these times.

"Always, despite everything, there are reasons for hope", underlines the parish priest, who this year has lost a 58-year-old sister to cancer. “Despite all the sad circumstances that surround us, we have to be happy. I am in love with Christ and that is why I transmit joy”, he stresses.

Hit the headlines

José Planas first hit the headlines at the local and national level in the summer of 2014 as a result of a video of one of his flamenco dances at the end of a mass in Campanillas, where he was previously parish priest, going viral.

Planas’ story is not that of a normal priest. At the age of 26, he dropped everything and sold two supermarkets he ran to give the money to the poor and dedicate his life to the Church. He was not ordained a priest until he was 42 years old, after spending just one course at theological college.