Votus, Felix and John, Hermits of the Pyrenees Mountains

May 29 is the Commemoration of Votus, Felix and John, Hermits of the Pyrenees Mountains
“Hermits in the Pyrenees Mountains. Votus and Felix were brothers from Saragossa, Spain, who gave up all worldly interests and embraced the eremitical life. Upon going to the Pyrenees, they became companions of John. Their place of seclusion, beneath a rock (called a pena) became the site of the Benedictine abbey of St. John de Ia Pena.”

“Votus and Felix were brothers from Saragossa in Spain who found a hermitage in the Pyrenees which was already inhabited by John (John de Atares). The three lived together and reposed at about the same time. The hermitage was situated beneath a huge rock (Peña) where the monastery of St John de la Peña later grew up. This is famous in Spanish history, since the monastery became the cradle of the Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon.”
“The monastery of San Juan de la Peña is a religious complex in the town of Santa Cruz de la Serós, at the south-west of Jaca, in the province of Huesca, Spain. It was one of the most important monasteries in Aragon in the Middle Ages. Its two-level church is partially carved in the stone of the great cliff that overhangs the foundation. San Juan de la Peña means “Saint John of the Cliff”.
The lower church includes some mozarabic architectural surviving elements, although most of the parts of the monastery (including the impressive cloister, under the great rock) are Romanesque. After the fire of 1675, a new monastery was built. The old monastery (built in 920) was declared National Monument on 13 July 1889, and the new monastery in 1923. In the 11th century the monastery became part of the Benedictine Order and was the first monastery in Spain to use the Latin Mass.
The cloister, built ca. 1190, contains a series of capitals with Biblical scenes that originally were arranged in chronological sequence, a design found elsewhere in the region.
The monastery is built beneath a huge rock sometimes associated with the legendary “Monte Pano”. The second floor contains a royal pantheon of kings of Aragon and Navarre. The present room, with its marbles and stucco medallions recalling historic battles, is mainly a design built during the administration of Charles III of Spain in 1770. It contains the resting places of the following kings of Aragón: Ramiro I, Sancho Ramírez, and Peter I of Aragon and Navarre
Legend said that the chalice of the Last Supper (Holy Grail) was sent to the monastery for protection and prevention from being captured by the Muslim invaders of the Iberian Peninsula.
The monastery is the namesake of the Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña, which was partially researched and composed there.”
spain monastery
“It has the legend, a young noble named Vote ( in some versions, Oto), came from hunting in these parts when they spotted a deer. The Hunter ran after the dam, but it was elusive and upon arrival at Mount Pano, plunged off the cliff. Miraculously, his horse fell on soft ground. Safely in the bottom of the ravine, he saw a small cave in the he found a hermitage dedicated to San Juan Bautista and in the interior, found the body of a hermit named John to tie. Shocked by the discovery, went to Zaragoza, sold all his property and he and his brother Felix retired to the cave, and began a life as a hermit.
This was the beginning of the monastery from which Miguel de Unamuno wrote: “… The mouth of a spiritual world of rocks covered with a forest of legend, in which the Benedictine monks, half hermit, half warriors, would spend the winter, while trampling the snow boar meat and bone, came out of the woods, bears , wolves and other wildlife.””

See further http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/monasterio-san-juan-de-la-pena.php?L=en


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