Marofa: a romantic story

By : January 8th, 2021 Stories and Legends 0 Comments

In the century. XVI, lived in Cinco Vilas a man named Bartolomeu, better known as Fidalgo das Cinco Vilas. One day he met D. Guiomar, lady of an important Pinhel family and they decided to get married, having chosen the 8th of December, the birth date of the two newlyweds. A year later, a son was born to him that they baptized with the name of Luís.

When the baby was 7 years old, the father decided to leave for India, in search of fame and wealth, joining the armada of D. Afonso de Albuquerque. In the great campaign, which the Viceroy developed in lands of the East, the Fidalgo de Cinco Vilas distinguished himself in heroism, to the point of becoming one of the main nobles of the army of D. Afonso de Albuquerque.

Meanwhile, D. Guiomar took pains to educate his son, providing him with the best teachers who instructed him in the art of fencing, riding and letters. When little Luis easily mastered the teachings taught, the mother set him up as a knight, but she felt sad that her husband was not present at this important time in his son’s life.

The news that Luís had been made a knight, revived in D. Bartolomeu the longing for the family that began to torment him. After making the necessary preparations, he decided to return to Portugal. However, on the trip, he was attacked by fever, dying without having the happiness of seeing his loved ones for the last time. The widow, inconsolable, dressed in heavy mourning for her whole life, dedicating herself entirely to her son.

Meanwhile, in Spain the expulsion of the Jews was decreed. Many sought in Portugal the refuge they needed, Castelo Rodrigo being one of the five regions destined by our king to settle. Among the many refugees who came to this region, there was one named Zacuto, very rich, who bought the top of the mountain, west of Castelo Rodrigo, and the entire slope to the Côa river.

At the top of the mountain, the Jew had a house built where he started to live and, a little further down, a dairy, dedicated to the production of calves. In a slightly more remote area, he dedicated part of the land to the cultivation of fodder, cereals and other agricultural products, having olive trees repaired, planting vines and installing a large flock of sheep and goats. Zacuto was a widower and was accompanied by his only daughter, Ofa, who made heir to all the goods acquired in the land that had hosted them. For this reason, they began to call those lands, Serra da Moura (moor) Ofa.

The good administration that Zacuto dedicated to the lands and herds, quickly increased his fortune. Luís, who lived just a few kilometers from the place, learned about the event, and felt a desire to meet the beautiful Jewess, heiress of such a large fortune.

When they met, the two young men were immediately attracted to each other, and a burning desire to join their lives was born among them. When the new Fidalgo de Cinco Vilas told his mother about the passion that set his heart on fire, the lady felt very sad, because there was a great barrier to realizing the dream of her beloved son, since the two young people had religion different.

Shortly thereafter, the king of Portugal, D. Manuel I, ordered the expulsion from the kingdom of all Jews who did not convert to Christianity. Much to Louis’ delight, the old Jew and his daughter accepted the royal decision. The nobleman ran over to his mother to tell him the great news. The lady authorized him to go to Zacuto and ask for Ofa’s hand in marriage.

Whenever his mother or friends asked him where he was going, Fidalgo de Cinco Vilas filled his chest with joy and replied: “I am going to love Ofa”, or “I am going to see my love Ofa”. ( Vou amar  a Ofa)

Some time later, on 8 December, the marriage bond took place at the Monastery of Santa Maria de Aguiar. From this marriage many children were born who became heirs to many lands in and beyond Côa.

Tradition says that the mountain came to be known as Serra da Marofa in the innocent imitation of Luís’s answer, when he said that “he was going to love Ofa“.


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