In the 12th century, a wealthy and very pious nobleman, Don Ero, had a monastery built in the parish of Armenteira, in Pontevedra, whose first stones were brought -thanks to the intercession of Saint Bernard – by four Cistercian monks. Legend has it that tired of the noise of the world Don Ero (of whom Alfonso X the Wise also sang in his Cantigas) decided to take his vows and retire to the monastery, being named abbot.
Known throughout the community for his great devotion and the hard life he led in the monastery, the good abbot had only one wish: that he be shown, while he was alive, that Paradise that he so longed for after his death. death. According to legend, Don Ero did nothing but wait for this, begging the Virgin in each of her prayers.
And that is how it happened that one day, during a walk on Mount Castrove, the abbot found a place of absolute peace, where a small stream flowed sheltered under the leafy trees. . He decided to stop to meditate, to admire the beauty of nature that surrounded him and enjoy the peace of that place. The abbot sat under a large tree and began to pray, once again asking the Virgin to show him the Eden where good Christians lived for eternity.
Not far from the place where Don Ero was praying, a little bird began to sing: the abbot thought it was the most beautiful melody he had ever heard and, without realizing it, he let himself be carried away by that song, entering a state of absolute ecstasy.
When the bird finished its song and took flight, Don Ero, full of emotion and moved by the experience, gave thanks for having had the opportunity to contemplate and experience the sweetness of nature, and promised to return to that place of tranquility.
Upon his return to the monastery, however, Don Ero was surprised to discover that, in his absence, the stones of his monastery had lost their original color, and that many changes had been made: doors and windows they had changed and the garden was completely different. Shaken by the vision, Don Ero entered his monastery where the monks who lived there now looked at him suspiciously, wondering who was that man who, dressed like them, seemed worn out and tired.
“Who are you brother? What brings you here?” They Asked. Don Ero introduced himself, and to the disbelief of the monks, the oldest of them brought Don Ero one of the ancient books of the monastery and read: “Saint Ero de Armenteira, a noble and devoted man, was the founder and abbot of this monastery. He disappeared on Mount Castrove about three centuries ago. He was never heard from again.” Don Ero, realizing the incident, died instantly, causing a great commotion among the monks.
Today, many centuries later, admiring the beauty of nature that surrounds the monastery, it is not difficult to understand how Saint Ero was able, in an eternal moment, to admire a corner of paradise enclosed in this beautiful land. The stream and the tree still exist… and sometimes the melodious song of a sparrow can be heard.