Touring a Benedictine Monastery 

Queridos amigos,

This week, our friends drove us to the Samos Benedictine monastery, home to ten monks and a resting place for weary peregrinos walking the Camino de Santiago.

“When he is to be received, he comes before the whole community in the oratory and promises stability, fidelity to monastic life, and obedience. This is done in the presence of God and his saints.”

Rule of St. Benedict 58:17-18a

We didn’t get to meet the monks, as they were secluded from nosey tourists like ourselves.

But we did get a tour of the main claustro and first floor. 

As is typical of such Spanish monasteries, the walls are built with thick stone, creating a cool, dank, and refreshing atmosphere that contrasted to the melting heat outside. 

The bells in the tower mark the hours. 

The apothecary/distillery, because yes, they made booze and still make it. Specifically licor pax (peace). It was strange to see someone in robes at the cash register. 

Upstairs were the paintings, some original and some restored. This one below depicted a story about St. Benedictine, who went to visit his ill sister. She begged him not to leave and a storm impeded him from returning home. The next day she died. The dove represents the sister. 

On the parallel wing walls were pictures of pre and post-fire. 

This picture marks a visit by the dictator Franco and his wife Carmen (nicknamed La collares for wearing pearl collar neckacles). 

The new ceiling beams. 

Crazy goggles. 

For a time, the monastery served as a local schoolhouse. 

Nearly every door had its own uinique design. 

But of course, no monastery would be complete without a chapel. 

The patron saint. 

Payment for years off purgatory. 

Now you may enter. 

The king who commissioned the building. 

Saint Benedictine’s bone. 

Outside we strolled the vibrant scenery and enjoyed the peace. It smelled like fresh cut grass. 

Very similar to Indiana nature. 

How water used to get to the monastery. 

Pilgrims drying their shoes before going back on the trail. 

Charlas and drinks afterwards. 

Soon Blake and I shall be walking the Camino! More on that later. 

Hasta luego,