By the will of Don Rodrigo, signed in Seville on August 12, 1598, it is known that “his factory and work is well advanced” and that the express will of the prelate was “to end and put all perfection according to and by trace , order and form that has begun and continues as and in the way that I have communicated “. In a deed granted a few months later, on April 19, 1600, the cardinal, who should feel his last hours approaching, orders that the church be given preference in the works and especially those of his burial. Don Rodrigo soon died. On September 18, 1600 he went on to a better life. Until 1603 his mortal remains were not transferred from Seville to the sepulcher of Santa María la Antigua, carved by Gregorio Español.

Valladolid, Iglesia de las Angustias where Juan de Nates worked

In great pregnancy and hurry he had to put those responsible for accelerating the works of the church the death of Diego Vélez, which occurred a little more or less by the same dates as that of the cardinal. By a document published by García Chico, about which Chueca Goitia attracts attention, it is known that Juan de Nates, the architect of Las Angustias, from Valladolid, and one of the most interesting figures of! group derived from the cathedral of Valladolid, was called to finish the church of Monforte, which left Diego Vélez unfinished. The document says: “I Juan de Nates, the neighboring architect of the city of Valladolid … I say that Diego Belez, master of the saying, my already deceased art took charge of making the third part of the church of the school of Our Lady of the Company of Jesus de Monforte .., in the kingdom of Galicia from which Mr. Rodrigo de Castro was founder. ” Cardinal and late archbishop … and I have been asked to take my charge to finish. … December 13, 1600 “.

Medal of Juan de Herrera, architect of Felipe II

Juan de Nates He learned the trade with his father in Valladolid, a city where he lived most of his life and where most of his works are registered. He is the son of Pedro Gómez de Nates and marries María de la Vega, daughter of Juan de la Vega, also a stonecutter and teacher of Juan de Nates himself. Disciple of Juan de Herrera, along with Juan Ribero de Rada, was the greatest diffuser of classicism in the North Plateau.



Mr. Manuel Ángel Feal Antelo tells us in his magnificent work entitled “THE COLLEGE OF THE CARDENAL DE MONFORTE DE LEMOS. EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSAL TRACE ”that before starting the works of our School an enemy came out, inside the house itself. It was the Monterrei College, in Verín, also run by the PP. Jesuits, who at the news of the Monforte construction project feared outside to their detriment. D. Mauel Feal tells us this:

Don Gaspar de Acevedo, V Count of Monterrey

“Although it may seem a lie, the first serious enemy of the College of Monforte was his fraternal colleague, the College de Monterrey. Perhaps the skirmish influenced the tension between the House of Monterrey and that of Lemos for a sound lawsuit that had been brought since the early sixteenth century. The truth is that Don Gaspar de Acevedo, V Count of Monterrey, upon learning that in Monforte he was trying to raise another College of the Company, he wrote to Fr. General, asking him “that the Monforte College not harm the General Studies from Monterrey”.

The response of Fr. General was logical and courteous: «Having already accepted the Company and the Cardinal’s foundation – he says on March 15, 1593 – no rate or limitation can be set, nor would it be fair. Nor do we see so much danger in this impediment. The Company, in the foundation of a College, cannot harm any other, nor its founder. But being the College of Monterrey, it will not be harmed by any of those that could be done in the contour ».

Ruins of the Monterrei College at the beginning of the 20th century

Meanwhile, things in Monforte were about. In April 1593, the Provincial informed Aquaviva with unusual optimism: «The Colegio de Monforte will be a matter of great substance. Then the work begins and is done as a thing of the Cardinal, as he suffers our way. If God gives it life, it will end in two or three years, because it takes great hurry and, even if it is not given, I trust it will be the same. It already has 30,000 ducats and more, for this purpose. And won the consensus of the abbots, will give 2,000 ducats of pension income to that College, which will soon take effect.

As you can see, Don Rodrigo had decided to raise the primitive income by 500 ducats. The Provincial, after affirming that in Monforte there were already two Fathers and a Brother of the Company, he added that he hoped to meet the Cardinal shortly, on his trip to Monforte, and arrange the founding deed. “And it is a wonderful thing,” he concludes, “the hobby he has for his school and the desire to see him, and they say that everything is to talk about this.”

After the expulsion of the Jesuits the Colegio de Monterrei was abandoned and its stone was used to pave the streets of Verín.


Brief Summary of the activities that on the occasion of the celebration of the IV Centenary of the Consecration of the Church of the College of Our Lady of Antigua, -College PP. Escolapios- were held in Monforte on August 2, 3 and 4, 2019.

Friday 2nd of August

• 7:30 p.m. Round table,

The Historical Artistic Importance of the Building of Our Lady of Antigua and the Social Value of Heritage Assets.

Introduced and Modernized, Mª del Mar Bóveda López. CC researcher. of Education, expert in intervention and social revaluation of Heritage.


– Ms. Rosana Guerra Pestonit, Dr. Architect.

– Ms. Luisa Serrano García, Architect.

– Mª Dolores Lago Arce, Historian and Restorer.

Writers of the Documentary Study for the Declaration of Good of Cultural Interest of the College of Our Lady of Antigua (Monforte de Lemos).

– Mr. Manuel Mª Chaín Pérez, Architect. Deputy Director General of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Xunta de Galicia).

That led us wisely through the essential elements of a technical, artistic, constructive and referential nature of the Cardinal’s building, highlighting the uniqueness of many of them and their influence on Galician architecture. They showed masterfully, supported by some very illustrative images, the details of the history of the building, its modifications, its values ​​that definitely endorse the building’s declaration as BIC

• 20:15 h. Official Inauguration of the IV Centenary conference.

Honored with the presence of Mr. Alberto Feijoo, President of the Autonomous Community of Galicia, Mr. President of the Diputación de Lugo who is also our Mayor, Mr. José Tomé Roca; Mr. Minister of Economy, Employment and Industry, Mr. Francisco Conde López; the Secretary of the Bureau of the Parliament of Galicia Ms. Raquel Arias Rodríguez; Mrs. Deputy of the Parliament of Galicia, Ms. Julia Rodríguez Barreira; the Director General of Cultural Heritage Carmen Martínez Insua; The General Director of Territorial Planning and Urban Planning, Mª Encarnación Rivas Díaz; the Rector of the PP. Escolapios de Galicia P: Eladio Rodríguez; the Manager of the Colegio de Nª Sª de la Antigua Foundation and Head of the PP College. Escolapios in Monforte; in addition to several mayors of the neighboring towns and how many monfortinos wanted to accompany us.

In this act, moderated by Mr. Pablo Blanco, Director of the PP School. Escolapios consecutively intervened Fr. Javier Agudo as manager of the Foundation that focused on the significance of the 400 years of the consecration of the Church, D. José Tomé Roca as President of the Provincial Council of Lugo and Mayor of Monforte de Lemos who spoke on the importance of Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro for the town of Monforte. Finally, Mr. Alberto Feijoo, President of the Autonomous Community of Galicia, who addressed some kind words to the College and Foundation, framed the act in its significance within the Ribeira Sacra and his will to preserve and give value to the heritage of the same for Enjoy future generations. Finally declaring the days of celebration of the IV Centenary open-

• 9:15 p.m. Concert in the Church of the School interpreted by the pianist Ernesto Maseda González and his wife Ana Gloria Peñate Puncet, who brilliantly and virtuously offered a varied concert of Latin American music on a piano and four hands, which surprised by its magnificent performance and colorful musical . All this in the environment of the church that, as is already known by all, offers a magnificent sound for music.

Saturday, August 3

• 11:00 h. – 12:30 h. Open day.

The Nª Sª de la Antigua School Foundation and the PP School. Escolapios offered the Villa de Monforte an open day so that those who wanted to can visit the monumental areas of the College, accompanied by the two guides of the Tourist Office as well as some teachers and a student who served as guides to visitors.

• 12:30 h. – 1:00 p.m. Lecture, The College of Monforte a Renaissance intuition of Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro. In charge of Father Francisco Javier Agudo, Foundation Manager.

Father Javier Agudo gave a lecture on the framework of the Renaissance and Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro setting the stage and actors for the great work written in stone of the Colegio de Nª Sª de la Antigua.

• 1:00 p.m. Concert in the Church of the College, performed by Mr. Manuel Randulfe Jácome, Director of the Professional Conservatory of Music “Adagio”. Due to an accident the day before, the announced concert had to be suspended due to force majeure, which was felt very much, wishing D. Manuel a speedy recovery.

Sunday, August 4
• 12:00 h. Celebration of the Eucharist in the Church of Nª Sª de la Antigua, which was presided by the Vicar of the Diocese D. Mario Vázquez Carballo, because Mr. Alfonso Carrasco Rouco, Bishop of Lugo, who had announced his presence, could not attend for a lumbar disease. The celebrant reviewed the significance of the act in connection with education, highlighting the figure of the Cardinal and of San José de Calasanz as founder of the first popular, Christian and free school in the world.

Here is this brief summary of the three-day activities in which we celebrated the IV centenary of the Church of the College and enjoyed the presence of many Monfortinos who shared with us the programmed events and the shouts of culture that we could offer.

Transfer of the Blessed Sacramento to the New Church on August 5, 1619

As reflected in the brief account, the day after the Consecration of the Church, the sacrament of the old Church was transferred to the new one. Thus they tell us the fact:

Cloister where the procession went and the altars were mounted.

Monday [August 5]: the Blessed Sacrament was moved from the old church to the new one. The procession began at a good time. The Lord Bishop carries the Blessed Sacrament under a very rich pallium; four clad priests, to Our Holy Father; and four others, the baby Jesus in richly seasoned walks, turning the entire cloister that, on both sides, was adorned with very colorful and very valuable hangings, with four altars at the corners, each with its canopy of rich fabric.

It would be long to paint the greatness of these altars, as the masters took pains in their composition. I only say that one had, among other great riches, a front that those who have seen the best in Spain put it before all of them: at last it is a gift from a potentate of Italy to a count of Lemos, viceroy of Naples, who was also the dome39 of the cloister, except for the pictures of all the martyrs of our Company, which, put [s] on the hangings, made him more colorful and pleasant for the Blessed Sacrament in all the altars. And the musicians sang so well and such carols that, although people were innumerable and excessive heat, they were not repaired in those, mostly when, without thinking, seven dances that were prevented from coming out.

The bishop arrived at the main altar to place the Blessed Sacrament on a throne that was formed above the custody, surrounded by bleachers adorned with the most lucid and precious of the oratory of the countess lady and riches left by the Cardinal, because each one which would be that I dare not paint. The front was made of silver cloth, all gold-plated with great cousin, which gave us His Excellencies with a chasuble of the mesmo and a canopy, which he has only made more than 800 ducats coast. The Counts did not put their weapons in him, but they set everything on Jesuses, showing in this to be all theirs of the Company: such is the friendship they make us.”


This afternoon we will have the inaugural act of the three days with which the Our Lady of the Antigua College Foundation wants to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Consecration of the Church on August 4, 1619.

All our friends are invited to the opening ceremony, we have the presence of the highest authorities in Galicia and we will be lucky to listen to the team that has done the study for the BIC declaration of our building and its adjacent elements.

We wait for you all.

Do not forget, Friday 2, at 7:30 pm at the Colegio de Nª Sª de la Antigua


About to finish off the restoration of the rear of the Moure custody, until now covered with a reddish satin, we can be glad to have returned to the Moure altarpiece its first decoration.

At first, when the curtain covering the bottom was removed, a surface appeared in brown paper and glued to the wall. By some indications it was understood that under that paper there could be some apparently blue decoration. When the restorer D. Vania López removed the paper, a kind of sky appeared full of small stars. But this painted sky, still showed another more primitive decoration that we decided to return to light, since it is the original and first decoration, from the middle of the 17th century and that attaches importance to the whole of the altarpiece when returning it to its first design.

It has also taken advantage of the restoration and withdrawal of the walnut custody to introduce a piece of wood covering the irregular stones of the altar table and that forced the custody to be unduly resting all its weight.

Now with the new altar cover stability will be given to the whole.We add some photos of the process that, due to not having enough space to photograph, are almost always partial or semi-covered photos by the scaffolding, but they are enough to give testimony of a work about to finish off in favor of the jewel of D. Francisco de Moune in Monforte, that is the main altarpiece of the church.


According to what Father Esteban tells us in his book about the College of the Nª Sª de la Antigua, Pope Paulo V supported the construction of the School with a bull, he relates it like this:

Paulo V

In order to have funds to finish the works, the Count of Lemos asked Pope Paulo V commutation and reduction of the pious works left in testament by the Cardinal to the foundation of two hospitals for pilgrims and that, afterwards, all the goods they were used in “continuing the factory of said College until putting it in all perfection and according to the plant that the Cardinal said, without any other obligation, since all the other dispositions of said Lord Cardinal were understood as commuted in said pious works of the hospitals ” Pope Paul V granted this commutation with a special bull, issued on June 12, 1613, nono of his pontificate. Of these hospitals, at present, only the remains remain. They were on the “Camino de Santiago”, the first in Ligonde, municipality of Monterroso, province of Lugo; and the other in Leboreiro, parish of the municipality of Mellid, province of La Coruña. These hospitals seem to have had estates or properties, whose settlers paid some tribute or revenue to this College. According to the Archives document, on September 6, 1887, the Bishop of Lugo wrote to the Rector, Fr. Felipe Fernández, requesting, from the Civil Governor of La Coruña, a certified copy of the “founding document” of the Pilgrims’ Hospital “Instituted in Leboreiro, in the district of Mellid, by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who administered the PP. Escolapios of the Monforte de Lemos School “. The Rector answered, dated 27-X-1887 saying that, in the archive of this College, there was no such deed and that it should be in the General Archive of the House of Alba.


The Foundation Nª Sª de la Antigua School proposes the ex-students of our center, the Monfortinos and the entrepreneurs based in Monforte to join the Circle of Mecenas of our Foundation. In this circle, we especially invite people, companies and institutions linked to Monforte de Lemos to feel proud of the cultural heritage of the Villa de Lemos, specifically the one that brings the so-called “College of the Cardinal” and wish with their contribution to contribute their bit to its maintenance, improvement and diffusion.


Promote the link between society, especially Monfortina and Colegio Nª Sª de la Antigua. Through:


  • Conservation of “Colegio Nª Sª de la Antigua”, and improvement of facilities
  • Conserve and enlarge the collections.

SOCIAL Projects

  • Promotion of quality education of the College
  • Scholarships and support for students with financial difficulties


To collaborate with our Foundation through any of the following annual contributions:

Junior Collaboration ……… € 20 per year
Senior Collaboration ………… € 50 per year
Family Collaboration …… .. € 100 per year
Protective Collaboration … € 250 per year
Collaboration Maecenas … € 500 per year
Special Collaboration ….. __ € yearly


Easily through the DONATE button of the general menu of this page. WEB

The members of our Circle of Patronage will receive an accreditation with which they can freely access with a companion to any guided visits to our center as many times as they want, in addition to other advantages specially designed for Companies.


of the Consecration of the Church of the College of Nª Sª de la Antigua
-College PP. Piarists-

Friday 2nd of August

19:00 Inauguration of the act

7:30 pm Round table: ” The Historical and Artistic Importance of the Building of Nosa Señora da Antiga e or social value two Bens Patrimoniais:”

  • -D Manuel Chaín. Architect and Deputy Director General of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage
  • -Dª Rosana Guerra García, Dra Architect
  • -Dª Luisa Serrano García. Architect
  • -Dª Mª Dolores Lago Arce. Historian and Restaurateur

21:15 Concert in the Church of the School interpreted by the pianist Ernesto Maseda González

Saturday, August 3

11: 00-12: 30 open day

12: 30-13: 00 Conference “The College of Monforte a Renaissance intuition of Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro” by Father Francisco Javier Agudo Manager of the Foundation.

13:00 Concert in the Church performed by Don Manuel Randulfe Jácome, Director of the Professional Conservatory of Music “Adagio”

Sunday, August 4

12:00 Celebration of the Eucharist in the Church of Nª Sª de la Antigua, presided by D. Alfonso Carrasco Rouco, Bishop of Lugo.