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article image‘Pure of spirit' caretaker required for Spanish hermitage

By Anne Sewell     Aug 27, 2015 in Travel
For anyone who is “pure of spirit” and with a good handle on the Catalan language, a unique job is on offer. A hilltop hermitage is looking for someone to act as a caretaker for a year.
This is a chance to really get away from it all and experience total peace and quiet on a mountaintop in Catalonia, Spain.
“Mare de Déu de la Roca” or Our Lady of the Rock, is situated high up on a rocky outcrop above the Catalan town of Mont-Roig del Camp overlooking the ocean and recently advertised the brand new position of caretaker on their Facebook page (in the Catalan language).
Besides the hermitage itself, Our Lady of the Rock includes a small chapel which has been carved directly into the red sandstone of the hilltop which reportedly dates back to 1299. However, a flagstone in the chapel also displays the year 1591. There is a second chapel, which was dedicated to Sant Ramon, located higher up on the hillside. The chapel building was apparently whitewashed to make its appearance clear against the rock in order to guide sailors at sea. The chapels can be seen in the image below.
Mare de Deú de la Roca Church
Mare de Deú de la Roca Church
Of interest to note, Spanish painter Joan Miró spent a lot of time at his family property close to the hermitage at Mas d'en Miró, in the Les Pobles district, from 1911 onwards and famously depicted the hermitage in his 1916 painting Mont-Roig, Sant Ramon, showing the chapel from afar.
According to the Local, the position on offer is to act as a caretaker at the hermitage for a period of one year and the job includes free accommodation and a stipend of 1,000 Euros for the year. Duties include guarding and caring for the hilltop sanctuary and the job is open to any responsible person (male or female) over the age of 18 years.
The successful applicant will have to carry out “all the proper functions of a hermit” and the position will necessitate the caretaker to keep the hermitage is a good condition during their residency. However, it is not just a care taking position, as the applicant would also be required to interact with tourists and visitors on a regular basis, handling catering and accommodation services at the religious site and also giving guided tours.
The advert, which can be seen on the Facebook page states that, "The hermit must possess knowledge of the history of Our Lady of the Rock" as well as being able to describe the traditions of the hermitage and its customs to visitors to the sanctuary.
While knowledge of the Our Lady of the Rock hermitage is key, it is also essential that applicants are pure in spirit and that they should always keep in mind the “religious and cultural character of the sanctuary.” Very important to note, apparently all “uncivil or immoral activity” must be left outside the door on arrival.
All applicants should also be fluent in the Catalan language and preferably have a good grasp of at least one other language. Anyone who is interested in taking up the offer and meets all the necessary criteria should apply via the Facebook page before August 31st.
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