The Capuchin Rock

In his Recorts d'un excursionista, Bosch de la Trinxeria speaks of a rock that can be seen two kilometers from the road linking Prats-do-Mollo to La Preste: the Capuchin rock, the distance gives the tourist l illusion of a hooded brother kneeling on the crest of the mountain and absorbed in reading a breviary; the silhouette of the religious stands out clearly on the horizon, and one notices with astonishment the correct proportions of his body, which seems to have been chiseled by a skilful sculptor.

the capuchin rock

The Capuchin Rock

It is nevertheless a work of nature, because the closer one approaches, the better one distinguishes the imprecision of the forms; we thought we saw a perfect statue and it is not even the sketch of an apprentice; it is simply a pile of granite stones. These stones, to which chance seems to have given a human form, nevertheless have their legend.

Brother Miquel was part of the convent of Sainte Marguerite (located at Cal d'Arès), where the travelers who were lost in the mountains took refuge during the blast. One evening he provided himself with provisions and generous wine and set out for the Pass through the snow-covered paths: terrible weather ensued; an icy wind was lashing his face when he suddenly thought he heard desperate cries. Guided by the sound of the unknown path he made active searches in the ravine and discovered two beings half buried under the snow: an adorable young girl and her old father.

Brother Miquel saved them from their perilous position, offered them food and accompanied them to the convent. But as the young girl walked with great difficulty, he carried her courageously on his shoulders to her destination. The poor travelers found good food, good fire and good lodging at the convent, while waiting to resume their journey through the mountain.

But the beautiful maiden made a deep impression on the generous host. And as the first passions are always the most violent, Brother Miquel fell prey to the most ardent love: in vain did he fight against himself and he submitted to the harshest mortifications, in vain he prayed to God. to restore her peace, the demon seemed to fan her flame and make the image of the seductive stranger more alive in her memory.

The unfortunate man resolved to flee the presence of the young girl and left the convent during the night, heading towards Prats. But the storm broke in the mountain and the trembling brother walked in the shadows, slums roared with thunder. Lightning illuminated fantastic apparitions.

Vanquished by the elements, the monk fell, and around his body, the demons rushed to attack his soul. But the guardian angel came to save Brother Miquel:

- "Kneel down," he said, "because your sin is serious." You will remain in prayer until the last judgment.

And that is why we still see the brother kneeling on the crest of the mountain. The locals even claim that during the storm the poor brother utters lamentable cries:

"Pardoneu me, Deu meu! .., Prou, prou… ,. Ay! desgraciat de mi! (Forgive me, my God! Enough, enough Ah! Unhappy that I am!)

And on hearing these complaints the shepherds fled, making the sign of the cross.