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The Legend of Father Canillas


One gloomy and dark night, on a narrow street of San Juan Quarter, the silence was broken by the sound of the old, wooden door of a manor house. It was a young man walking his girlfriend to her home. Not even the steps of the night watchman were heard that night.  He may have been in the dark, but warm entrance of a house in order to protect himself from the rain water. A strong and cold wind hit the streets of the city. The young man was returning home when he saw the shadow of a man in the distance, who was walking in the opposite direction on the same street. The young man thought about the figure while he walked down the street. The shadowy figure approaching him seemed to be that of a slim gentleman. He discovered that he was a priest, wearing a long black cassock, a warm cloak and a hat in order to protect himself from the cold and rain. 

The priest asked the young man to help him hold a celebration in the chapel of San Lorenzo’s Arch, because he was alone and may be in need of some help. The young man agreed immediately, and they both headed to the building. Once they entered the small, beautiful chapel, the priest dressed and the ceremony began. The priest genuflected and young man held the cassock while he kneeled. In that moment the young boy realized that instead of ankles, the priest had bones without flesh, which meant that he was a talking skeleton. When the young man realized this, he started to run like hell in a state of panic. He hurried out of San Lorenzo’s Arch and ran through La Merced Quarter searching for a place to hide. It seemed that the strange skeleton did not follow him; anyway he preferred to hide somewhere. 

Finally, while running he saw a man in Merced Square. He walked towards him searching for protection. The man was another priest that was very amazed when he heard the young man’s story. When he finished telling the story, the priest looked at him with a sly smile and asked him if the ankles of the skeleton priest were the same as his own ankles. The new priest laughed showing the young man that he also had the same, lifeless bones without flesh on his legs. The poor young man had a terrible night in Merced Quarter.