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La vida del bienaventurado San Amaro ("The life of St. Amaro and the dangers he faced during his journey to the Terrestrial Paradise") is an Early Modern text from Iberia, purporting to recount the adventures of St. Amaro, a holy man from somewhere in Asia, and his journey to the Terrestrial Paradise. The document displays a good deal of influence from the Irish immrama, and particularly the exploits of St. Brendan.

Warning!Please note that this translation is my own and, as such, must be treated with the utmost caution.


In Asia, there was a city now destroyed, wherein there lived a saintly, rich and powerful man. He greatly loved God and held fast to all His commandments, taking care of the poor and the widows, and others to whom he had cause to minister. In this manner he lived and worked.

This man was named Amaro, that is to say a thing full of bitterness. This name was given to him after his mother and father heard a voice nine days prior to his birth, and this name is apt, given the many bitternesses he underwent at sea & by land for the love of God.

And, to those of us who wish to serve God, remember the many dangers & tribulations of this life, in particular those which the Lord endured on our behalf, and, thereafter, His disciples, the saints, martyrs and virgins. As the Scripture says: "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."


At the home of St. Amaro, one could always find many men of God, rich in wisdom and of good conduct, besides pilgrims who went to receive the many blessings and mercies that he gave. And he gained great wisdom through his desire to learn from the good example of the lives of the saints.

In particular, he sought knowledge of the Terrestrial Paradise, though his efforts to find tidings of this blessed place were seemingly futile. Finding himself in great oppression of the soul, he began to fast vigorously, and to pray keenly that, should it please Him, the LORD would allow St. Amaro to visit there.

St. Amaro spent many days in tears and sighs, until, one night, as he lay sleepless in his bed, St. Amaro heard a voice which said: "Amaro, the LORD your God has heard your prayers. Get up and go down to the sea. Make ready a ship or boat. Do not ask to where you wish to go. You will pass through much trouble and many tribulations."

St. Amaro began to weep, whereupon the voice added: "after you have come through these, you will see what you desire."


Having heard all this, he said: "Oh LORD God our Father, master of all things in creation, who formed the heavens and the earth, LORD, have mercy on me and bestow upon me the fortitude, strength and wisdom to accomplish that which You have revealed to me tonight, that I may see that which I desire."

Thereafter, he sold all his possessions to help the poor and gathered supplies for himself and those who wished to undertake this journey alongside him. He remained in a port city for a number of days, ensuring the ship was seaworthy and well-stocked with food and all else required for the journey.


Once it had been rigged, the Blessed Amaro and his company set out. Having been at sea for seven days and nights, they arrived at an island, named Tierra Desierta, as there was a journey of fifteen days between the port and the nearest centre of population.

On the island, there were five cities and many other walled settlements. This land enjoyed a great abundance of produce, though it was populated by many wild animals of diverse natures. Additionally, the men of the country were nasty and cruel, whilst the women were very beautiful. The company remained there for six months.

One night, as he slept, Amaro heard a voice, which said: "Amaro, servant of God, leave this place, which the LORD has cursed on account of the manifold iniquities which have arisen here, rendering this a place of evil repute. Go where God will guide you."


They left that place and entered the ship, passing through the Red Sea (Mar Ruvio, Mar Bermejo), through which the LORD had led the children of Israel when pharaoh and his host, seeking to overtake them, were all overthrown and died in the midst of the waves. There was Israel saved by God's dividing the sea. It is for this reason that "Cantemus Domino" is sung in church at Eastertide.


Having sailed through the Red Sea, they came to a vast island, possessing rich soil, albeit the land was brimfull of all the vices of this world. The name of this land was Fuente Clara ("Beautiful Fountain"), and its inhabitants were the most beautiful people on earth. They honoured Amaro and showed him great courtesy, supplying all his material needs. The people of the country enjoyed healthy and happy lives: none died either through illness or old age, but lived for some thirty years, holding everything in common.

Amaro remained there for three weeks, whereupon a lady of noble character and great holiness said to him: "Amaro, dear friend, I advise you to leave this land, for I know well that you are in the service of our LORD. After your companions have seen the vices which are within this land, they would be loath to leave it, forsaking you and preventing your departure. I would advise you to set forth this very night."


Thereafter, they spent a great deal of time at sea, not knowing which parts they were in. They became very vexed,unable to get their bearings, so it was a great relief when they spied seven huge ships without sails in the midst of the main. They were all overcome with pleasure.

"Rejoice," said Amaro: "on account of these seven ships at anchor! I daresay we are close to land."

However, they soon found themselves held fast in the Doldrums (Mar Quajado, Mod. Sp. Mar Cuajado), unable to leave except by the grace of God and His miracles. The seven vessels were infested with countless monsters of great strength, the smallest among them being about the size of a horse. These had invaded the ships and slain many of the ships' compliments, taking their carcasses down into the abyss, whilst leaving the remainder to die of starvation, skulking in the dark corners of their vessels. When Amaro and his company saw that they were in great danger, they became fearful that they would be next to fall prey to this horrific end. Amaro's crew began to wail and call upon the LORD to save them from this desperate predicament.

At this juncture, Amaro began to pray:

Oh, most glorious Virgin, mother of my LORD Jesus Christ the Nazarene, queen of the high heavens, you who are called the star of the sea, beloved of all people, comfort and succour to all sinners, light and fire of the oppressed, sanctuary and supply of all that is good, advocate of those children of Eve in danger and misery, most highly favoured amongst women, please light the way for these needful pilgrims. Crown of the virgins, precious flower of beauteous aroma, hope of those in danger, you are the noble flame of the chambers of the heavens. You are the empress of virgins and those holy martyred saints. You are the daughter and most loyal bride of the King of the Angels. You are the emblem of beauty. You are the comforter and helper of those in need and in darkness. You are our reward. You know those who serve you and you never forsake them. And you, oh Most Graceful Lady, meek and mild, who, on account of your great humility was chosen as the vessel by which the Saviour would be brought into being! You, who restores to us that which, through the impetuosity of the sorrowful Eve, was lost. I pray, Lady, that, by your holy virginity, you may have pity upon us and rescue these poor souls from this mortal peril. Oh, Lady, though I am unworthy to call upon you and beg you so, please guide us through this sea of tribulation to the safe havens of life and health.

Having called earnestly upon the Blessed Virgin, and with the coming of night, Amaro and the crew, exhausted from their sorrows, fell to their slumbers.

To Amaro, there came a vision, in which a very noble maiden, dressed in garments of the whiteness and purity of driven snow, with the radiance of the sun, appeared, alongside other maidens of great beauty, wondrous to gaze upon and richly attired. They were all crowned with garlands of flowers, the scent of which, once caught, would not fail to restore health even to those in the most dire extremity of sickness.

This glorious choir sang in unison, voices high and so sweet that neither cold, hunger, thirst, regrets, nor burning wrath, would prevent one from praising them: "Oh, most glorious and exalted choir of the virgins of the angels!"

And, before the Lady, were other choirs of beautiful maidens, dressed in robes red as blood. These choirs served the great lady. Amaro thought that the entire world was aflame, so great was the number of lights that were apparent.

Seeing this holy man surrounded by his slumbering crewmates, the Lady came to him and spoke thus: "be of good cheer, Amaro, and hold fast your faith. Be thou not afraid of anything, for I shall deliver you and your company from this trial safe and sound."

Thereafter, a voice was heard, saying: "Amaro, do this! Take all the wineskins aboard and pour out the contents. Fill them with air, tie them to the ship and cast them overboard."

Then, Amaro and his companions awoke. Ministering to them, he explained the course of action prescribed. Finishing their work, the monsters approached and set about the wineskins most viciously. They pulled and pulled, until they drew the ship free from the influence of the Doldrums. Realising they were out of that terrible main, the crew untied the wineskins, to which the beasts, thinking they had a glut of corpses to devour, still adhered.

The ship now safe, St. Amaro revealed the details of the vision which had brought about their salvation, leading the entire complement to sing praises to God and the Blessed Virgin. Let no one be amazed that the LORD who fashioned the heavens, earth, sea and all else from nought, created the angels and formed man in accordance with His own likeness, should bring about such a wonder on behalf of His servant.


After this, through the agency of the Blessed Virgin, seeking a safe port, they found an island after three days and nights in the main. This island proved to be the home of a great many hermits and, due to its barrenness, came to be called Ysla Desierta, the many animals which lurked there having killed and eaten the most part of the inhabitants. The island was cursed by a noisome stench which assaulted the senses.

There remained, however, a monastery, which was encircled by wondrously high walls to keep the animals at bay. Amaro went there to get water, whilst his companions waited on the ship.

Amaro met a hermit, who asked him: "friend, what do you want in this elusive place, which, since time immemorial has never been visited by man?"

Amaro replied: "I shall tell you, friend. We are travelling through this ocean and have undergone great torments and trials, and now we see this land. Our water supplies are diminished and I have come hither to take some consolation."

The hermit said: "friend, this land is depopulated, and this abbey is, as you see, harrassed by many lions and other wild beasts. These kill one another, doing battle on the day of St. John. The situation is so grim that no man can dwell in this land. Those who remain are forever assaulted by the stench of the decomposition of the fallen beasts. However, if you wish, you may sleep here tonight, in order to preserve your life."

The hermit supplied Amaro with water and victuals.

The next morning, he gave the following advice: "friend, go to your companions and set out against the sunrise. In this way, you will discover a most beautiful land, wherein you can find all that you need."


Amaro did as the hermit bade him. On the next day, at the hour of Sext, they saw the land of which the hermit had told him.

Amaro addressed his crew: "wait for me here and drop anchor. I shall seek to discover what land we are in and what manner of food we may find."

Amaro then left the ship and, upon setting out, found a noble monastery at the foot of a range of mountains. The inhabitants were white friars (Carmelites?), men of a very good mode of life. The name of the monastery was Val de Flores, and it was watered by streams rising from noble springs. There were many orchards, meadows and trees bearing the finest of fruit.

Before attaining the holy place, he met a friar, a man of handsome bearing with white hair like wool, of advanced age, standing by a tall tree. This friar, a native of Babylon in the desert, was named Leonatis on account of the lions which came to be blessed by him.

Upon seeing Amaro, Leonatis left his station and embraced Amaro, blessing him with great reverence and saying: "friend, servant of the LORD, welcome, praise be that I, of all the LORD's creatures, now behold that which I most wished to see in this world. And you know, my friend Amaro, that your arrival was foretold me by the grace of God long ago in a vision. I will not enquire as to your business, for I know it very well. Therefore, do not dwell on the dangers which have passed: I shall tell you how to find that which you are seeking."

Having said this, the pair embraced and wished each other peace, becoming fast friends. As they stood by the tree, five huge lions appeared, lowering their heads to the ground. Amaro was in great fear of the beasts, but Leonatis said: "friend, fear not, you shall face no evil nor anger."

Amaro's confidence was thus restored. The lions then came and kissed the hands and feet of the two holy men, before throwing themselves on the floor and proceeding to moan. Said Leonatis: "do you know why they moan? They wish for you to bless them." Amaro raised his hand and pronounced the benediction.

The lions left and the two men proceeded to the monastery, where Leonatis furnished the ship with bread, fish, fruit and all other necessary victuals. The friars healed Amaro in body and spirit. He spent forty days at the monastery, making penance, praying and meditating on the LORD's good works. At the end of his quarantine, he took communion and spoke with Leonatis, who said: "Amaro, my friend, it is time for you to return to your companions and continue your journey along the coast, where you will find a port where there are no more than three houses. There you will find all the things you need. A month's journey thereafter and you alone will find a large, high valley. Traverse this, and you will see what you desire."

The friar accompanied Amaro as far as the tree, whereupon they bade each other farewell with much sorrow and blessed each other in the name of the LORD. Then, Leonatis said to Amaro: "friend, sir, I pray that you will bless me again, for you will never again see me in this world. Let us place our faith in the LORD Jesus Christ that we shall meet again in Paradise." And they blessed each other again.

Amaro returned to the port where he companions were and they put out to sea. They travelled far along the shore of that sea, following Leonatis' instructions.


Leonatis remained by his tree and began to make a great cry, opining: "oh, me a sinner of no import, I am in great danger now, alone and helpless, deprived of such a good companion. I have lost those who consoled me! Who will comfort me now? I shall never have such a friend or earthly lord to assuage my soul and body. Oh, Amaro, it would be better for me not to have met you, such sadness I feel now! Oh LORD, creator of the circle of the earth, consoler of those in peril and comforter of the sick, please enable me to find the joy in knowing You, and remove this burden of sadness from me!"

Having said this, he fell asleep and, thereafter, was granted comfort and happiness, for to him was brought a lady, Baralides by name, who had led a very holy life as God's servant, and who had traversed the wastes for many years in a spirit of great penitence. She was much esteemed by God, and her piety was an example to many. To her, the LORD had shown the Terrestrial Paradise. Within, she had seen two beautiful gardens, filled with very beautiful flowers. In one was the Tree of Knowledge; in the other, the Tree of Sweet Love.

Leonatis asked the lady: "my lady, pray, tell me who you are."

She replied: "sir, I am but a poor woman whom God, by his grace, has blessed beyond measure. My name is Baralides, a native of Mount Sinai."

Leonatis, hearing this, said: "oh, lady of great holiness, blessed be the LORD our God who has brought you here! My lady, I beg of you, that you bring me comfort and succour during this time in which I languish in very great anguish and sorrow for my beloved brother and friend, who has just presently left me."

She replied: "friend, take this branch that I have carried with me, from the Tree of Knowledge in Paradise, for your own."

He took it and, thereafter, he found comfort and the many fears which had assailed him passed by, transformed into joy and pleasure. Then, the lady prayed "blessed be the LORD who brought me here."

A few days later, God showed His power to Leonatis and performed many miracles for him.


Now let us leave Leonatis and return to Amaro. After a month, they arrived in the port, having spent many days in fasting and tearful vigils. This port was very beautiful and located in a fine, well-watered land. It was, however, not populated.

Amaro began to say: "friends and brothers, I wish to commend you and implore you to share all you have left, for you shall never see me again."

This being said, he bade them all peace. "Father," they said, "give us your blessing."

He blessed them and commended them unto God.


He proceeded for the valley as Leonatis had told him. That night, he arrived at a cell where two ancient hermits were living a life of extreme holiness. Upon seeing him, they welcomed him and told him all that was to come in his journey, before taking him to an orchard. They washed his feet and took care for him a while, whereupon Amaro began to cry and say:

Oh, how have I been deprived of my companions, who were to me as my father? Oh, Almighty Father, creator of the heavens and the earth, LORD, You who gave the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and comforted them, please comfort them, lest they forget me!

"Friend," asked the hermits: "why are you complaining?" So Amaro told them that it was for his companions that he felt such woe. The hermits then informed him about that lady Baralides, whose meeting with Leonatis we mentioned previously, and how God produced many miracles by means of her, and of how she had visited the Terrestrial Paradise. Amaro asked them: "my friends, would you know where I could find this lady?"

And they said: "friend, few are shown, but holy men."

He said: "Friends, can you tell me where to find the Terrestrial Paradise?"

The older hermit said: "it is in this land, but we know not where, though that lady we told you of knows it."


Amaro remained with the hermits that night. When morning came, he went through valley and noticed a very beautiful convent at the foot of a very high mountain. It was populated by people who lived a holy life, and ringed about by fine walls. The nuns there were all ladies of noble stock. These ladies rejoiced in the service the Most High. There were are secluded places for use by outsiders whose travels brought them hither. The name of this convent was Flor de Dueñas.

Prior to Amaro's arrival, the lady Baralides used to come thrice a year to that monastery to partake in Holy Communion, at Christmas, Easter and Quinquagesima. Each time she came, she would meet the nuns, to whom she gave good advice for the care of body and soul. The last time, the inhabitants had gone out to meet her when they saw her coming, and wished to kiss her feet and hands, but she did not consent, saying: "ladies and gentlemen, I am coming here now because of a holy man who will come to you as a guest. For our LORD, he has passed through a great many torments by sea and land. His greatest desire is none other than to love and serve the LORD with all his strength.

It is his hands and feet that you shall kiss, and the earth upon which he treads besides. This man is named Amaro, according to a revelation which I was shown."

Thereafter, the call went out that Amaro was approaching. The denizens of the cloister went out to greet him, gathering by a very noble brook which descended from the heights above. As the exhausted holy man approached, they went to greet him, wishing to kiss his hands and feet. Amaro, however, refused. They kissed his hands and habit, before leading him to the convent with great rejoicing.

Once there, Amaro entered the chapel to pray, and Baralides said: "LORD, bless these ladies." Thereafter, he was conveyed to a well-appointed chamber, such as he merited, which was set apart for the most important guests such as he. Baralides requested that he be highly thought of and given everything he needed.

Amaro remained at Flor de Dueñas for seventeen days, after which Baralides came to him and asked: "friend, do you need anything?"

Amaro replied: "my lady, thank you very much and praise the LORD for our meeting, and that I have everything I need."

The lady said: "my lord, I have a niece here who wishes to serve the LORD. I request, sir, that you grant her the boon of initiation into our order."

Baralides' niece was a noble maided, Brigida by name. Amaro said to Baralides: "my dear friend, surely it is time that, if it please God, I should be shown what I desire to see."

She replied: "at the break of day, at the hour of Prime, I shall leave here to do as you wish. I shall comfort your disconsolate companions."

The following morning arrived, and Baralides, accompanied by the ladies, came and said: "sir, I beg your blessing for these pious sisters of charity, who shall never see you in this world again." Amaro assented and, with great affection, said: "ladies and gentlemen, I commend you to God."

They thanked him, crying and throwing themselves at his feet and kissing them. Amaro raised his eyes to heaven and blessed them again.

Baralides and her niece Brigida approached Amaro. said Baralides: "sir, bless this humble girl." Amaro blessed her.

The sisters then returned for their cloister and Baralides said to him: "friend, go forth. I shall accompany you a while."


They came to a very high mountain range, beholding a great river which sprang forth from the earth, which brought forth many fruits.

Baralides begged Amaro's blessing, saying: "oh, friend, I ask you to bless me and take me in your charge. Take this garment," offering Amaro a snow white garment, which he took, giving Baralides his garment in return.

Baralides kissed his hands and they commended one another to God. Then Amaro headed upwards, while the good lady went back to the monastery.

Upon reaching the place, Baralides bade farewell to the inhabitants and went down to the port where Amaro's companions were, still very sad on account of their parting from Amaro. The lady Baralides saluted them and said: "Friends, peace be with you."

They replied: "and upon you, mistress, may you ever enjoy health and happiness, though we should never experience such joys again, since our lord and father left us in these strange lands as orphans without father or mother and without relatives or friends."

And then Baralides said to them: "Friends, if you knew his goodness, surely sorrow would turn into joy. He bade me say that the ship and everything in it should be divided equally between you, and that you should populate this land."

They heeded her words and settled what became a very rich city. Meanwhile the lady left them and went back to the mountains to serve God.


And then Amaro, following the river upstream, climbed a high mountain. He beheld a castle high above, the finest he had ever seen, which seemed to shimmer like the sun. The most fertile plain of the world was on top of that mountain range.

And the castle was great wonder that seemed to be of immemorial age. The walls were very high and the towers very thick and many of the battlements were all of fine gold and the towers of rubies and of very precious stones. This edifice was covered with stones of green, blue, white, red, with sapphires, emeralds and many other precious stones beyond measure. And in this castle there were four great towers, from each of which flowed two great rivers. All four descended to the the sea. Before Amaro arrived at that castle, he saw a barracks, the biggest, grandest and most beautiful he had ever seen. It was so large that more than a thousand armed men could easily fit inside. It was so high that it was impossible to see the summit. It was like the place where the sun is born. This barracks was unlike those found here here. The arch was made of rubies and the glass walls of the floor glistened with a most beautiful light.

Amaro entered. Inside, all evil, anger, cold, warmth, hunger and thirst, were transformed into pleasure and joy. And in that place are four springs, the most beautiful in the world.

Afterwards, Amaro left that place and went up to the castle. At the entrance to the door, there were vaulted arches, with walls which could be seen three miles away. And then Amaro came to the entrance and wished to enter.

He came to the porter, who said: "friend, you will not go inside, it's not yet time."

And Amaro said to him: "friend, I beg you to tell me to whom such a castle as noble and rich as this here belongs. I have travelled far in this world and seen many great castles, and beheld the nobility of kings and emperors, but never have I seen such a rich place like this. How I marvel at the great riches and jewels here! How I wonder who the lord of this most beautiful place could be!"

Then the doorman understood that he was a man of good life, and realised that it was the service and grace of God which had led him there. He said: "friend, know that this is the Terrestrial Paradise, as you call it. It was made by God Himself, and it was here that, from the earth, he formed Adam."

When Amaro heard this, he turned his eyes to heaven and wept, saying:

Oh, my LORD, God the Father, Almighty creator of the heavens and the earth, and of all things in them, all thanks and praise to you, LORD, for now I see that you have, in your manifold mercy, allowed me to see that which I most wished to see. To you Lord, I give great thanks and praise. For now, all fear, regret and anger has passed into dust. Now I am the richest of men; now I am free. Now my wish is fulfilled.

Again, he begged the porter to let him in, though again he was rebuffed by the doorman, saying: "friend, do not seek to enter this place, for your time has not yet come. But one wish I will grant you: I will open the doors and you will be able to see some of the things that are within this sanctified Terrestrial Paradise."

The porter opened the great doors, such as were needed for a place such as this. When Amaro looked inside, he did not know if he was in heaven or on earth.

Among the things that were shown to him, he saw the tree from which Eve and Adam ate the fateful apple, and many other most noble things besides, the like of which no man could tell. Amaro cast his eyes about, this way and that, his soul seeking to drink in the manifold noble things, and to sense the aromas that emerged from there, that no earthly man might tell of or think upon. Therein were trees so tall that no man could not see the canopies thereof.

The beauty of this place was so great that one could not help by be struck dumb with awe at beholding it. It was filled with the most glorious fruits, flowers with the most splendid scents and poles and trestles covered with flowers. There were pools of many colours. Amaro was overjoyed to behold this marvellous place. In this place, night never fell, there was no cold, no sickness and no death, but the climate was ever mild and temperate.

Looking around, Amaro caught sight of many storehouses, very large and very tall, with covers beyond his wildest imaginings. The trees, heavy with fruit, gave homes to a plethora of birds, singing as sweet a song as Amaro had ever heard. If he had spent a thousand years there, it would seem no more than a day.

Then, he saw multitudes of maidens, attired in magnificent robes of diverse colours. They were all carrying wreaths and singing praises to the Most High. They were followed by other maidens bearing as many musical instruments as there exist in the world, and many more besides. These made such glorious, mellifluous music that it would not be possible to describe the sounds in mere words, nor could man comprehend its beauty nor retain the memory of it.

This orchestra of beautiful girls paraded joyousy, singing hymns familiar from church, praising Jesus Christ and the Blessed Queen Mary, ever virgin.

And then he saw other companies of virgins and other saints with complexions of the purity of the rose, clothed in pure white garments of the brilliance of the sun, whilst others bore robes red as blood. All were crowned with the most noble coronets. Others carried palm leaves and dates in their fair hands, whilst others bore wreathes of the most marvellous colours.

All these virgins were walking around a certain Lady, the most graceful and noble of them all. The other went around her, dancing with joy, kneeling when in front of her and singing that hymn, which begins: "oh, how beautiful and pure, oh, how beloved you are of God the Father, oh Blessed Mary, full of grace."

Then, all gathered around her and, kneeling, threw down their palms and coronets. And, upon the tent where the Lady was, many colourful birds came to perch, singing loudly such a tune that no man could describe. Amaro, fascinated, wished to see more, asking the porter once more: "oh, my friend, I pray, allow me to enter."

But the porter again told him: "friend, do not follow me, for you cannot enter, even for all the gold in the world. You have already seen things to which you can testify, bringing many to the LORD. But you, my friend, coming here, neither ate nor drank, did not change your clothes, and have not aged throughout your sojourn here. So the grace of the Lord has been with you, and now you are fresher and more hale than when you came here, in your most noble, whitest garments."

The porter added: "friend, I tell you, sixty-six years have passed by since you came here, and you have never left your station before this door.

"Now, friend, go away from here, for I tell you that you will never enter here again, but you shall be evermore within the Celestial Paradise, a place much better and much more noble than this. But, should you wish, I will give to you the apples and other fruits with which this place abounds."

And Amaro said to him: "friend, I pray you, give me the holy earth within which those trees grow."

This the ported did, and Amaro bade him farewell, marveling at what he said, that he had been there for so long.


Thereafter, Amaro went to the port where he had left his company. There, he found a great city, that populated by his company since he set out for the Terrestrial Paradise. When he entered the city, he saw the people walking about very honestly dressed. They marvelled at Amaro and began to ask him, saying: "friend, tell us, in the Name of the LORD, from whence you came?"

He said to them: "my friends, I set out from this place, as it seems to me, no great time ago, leaving here a ship and my companions, who came with me to this land. Now I see this place all changed from how I left it. When I left, there were no more than four houses, and now I marvel that such a time has passed by that now such a city as this has risen in its place, and so many things I now behold."

There were some good men, elders of the city, who understood that he was a man of God, and a saint, and these asked his name. He told them that his name was Amaro. When they heard his name, they were greatly surprised, and threw themselves to the earth at his feet, kissing them and proclaiming to the whole city, saying: "friends, come here to our lord Amaro, who has been at the door of the Terrestrial Paradise! It was his travelling companions, who shared in his travels and tribulations, who populated this city, and it is they who are our forefathers!"

They continued to kiss his feet and hands, relating the chronicles of that land, from the time St. Amaro had been sundered from his companions throughout the sixty-six years during which that city had stood, and all said: "friends, for this long has our friend stood at the gates of the Terrestrial Paradise!"

And then they took him honorably to the palace, and there he was given all the honours they could bestow.


After a few days, Amaro related how he had trekked through all those lands and found a fertile valley. He told them that he wished to settle in a secluded place, and they obliged, helping him to find a nook in which to live out his days. They resolved that they would often come to him to furnish him with everything he needed.

And then he went to a place where, in order to memorialise his adventures and the blessings he had received, he founded a monastery, close to Flor de Dueñas, where he had been the guest of his friend Baralides. It was there that she was buried, alongside her niece Brigida.

Amaro remained there, living out a very holy life in God's service. And when the hour of his death came, many souls came to the LORD through his example. He was buried for close to St. Baralides her niece St. Brigida.

Sir Graham