What you see in the picture above is the San Francisco Church. It’s located in the historical center of Quito and there is a really interesting story about it.
What I’m going to tell you is not a real story —maybe you already realised it just by reading the title— but a legend, a very famous one.
Many years ago, at the time of the Spanish Colony, an indigenous called cantuña accepted an important work:
▷ Build that church.
He had six months to do it, and he thought it was enough time to do finish the work, but it wasn’t.
When the deadline was close, he began to worry. And when he only had one day left, there was still a lot of work to be done.
At this point it’s important to mention something:
When he accepted that responsibility, he also accepted a condition:
▷ If he didn’t finish the church on time, he would go to jail.
An “interesting” agreement, right?
Well, Cantuña was desperate so, as a last resort, he tried something:
“I’ll give whatever they want to the person who helps me to finish the church”, he said.
In theory, it was a good idea. Some extra help could be useful. But something went wrong.
Guess who heard that offer.
The devil itself!
He appeared in front of Cantuña and said:
“I’ll finish the church, but you have to give me your soul in return.”
Well, as I just said, Cantuña was desperate, so he accepted the deal. But he established a condition.
▷ Every single stone had to be on its place before dawn, otherwise the deal would be annulled.
That was nothing but an attempt to save his soul, but putting all the stones on their place was an easy task to the devil, so he accepted.
Sudenly, hundreds of little devils showed up and started working really fast. They worked so fast that Cantuña got scared because he realised that the devil would finish the work on time and he would lose his soul.
Immediately, he started thinking of a way to escape from the hands of the devil, and he had an idea:
▷ He took one of the stones, hid it under his poncho and let the little devils keep working.
When the first sun rays appeared, the devil had finished the work, or at least it was what he believed.
When he was ready to take Cantuña’s soul, he stopped him.
Wait a moment —he said—, look at this:
And he showed the devil the stone he had hidden.
You didn’t put this stone on its place. The deal was not fulfilled. 😎
The devil was shocked. Cantuña was right, he didn’t notice that hiden stone, which meant that the work wasn’t completed.
That way Cantuña saved his soul and the devil had to return empty-handed to hell.
So, as you can see, Quito has a church built by the devil. At least that’s what Cantuña legend says.
If you ever visit Quito, don’t forget going there.
I have an excuse. I’m currently learning English and created this blog as a way to practice it (and to share info about my country with you, of course).
Any feedback is appreciated.