The feast is held annually on the last Sunday of July at the Sanctuary of Senhor do Monte (Lord of the Mount) in Pinho. Located in the Serra do Facho, it is one of the largest sanctuaries of the county, has a church with two towers, the house of the andores, and around a vast area of pine trees and a space for snacks.
Legend has it, perpetuated by oral tradition:
In ancient times there was nothing there, just a way through which the almocreves (type of merchants) were trading. The space where the sanctuary is located today was a resting place where they used to stop and where there was a niche where the almocreves placed an alms for divine protection that protected them from thieves.
Until one day, according to legend, it appeared in this place, on top of a pile of stones where still today can be seen the footprints, the Senhor do Monte.
The people of the land took the saint and took him to the church of Pinho, but the saint insisted on appearing in the same place. Until the people surrendered to their will and built a small chapel next to the place where they appeared and placed a cross on the cairn.
Over time the money of the alms became more and more. Such fame of protector conquered, that they constructed a church in stone, carted in chariots of oxen by the farmers of the villages of the parish.
He is considered the protector of the animals and in his honor is celebrated annually this celebration. The tradition dictates that on the Sabbath, a day reserved for the blessing of the beasts, the husbandmen take the cattle to the sanctuary and with it make three turns to the church. Many are traveling long distances, not only from the county, but also from neighboring counties, once on foot, now in vans, to take their animals to the sanctuary in search of the saint’s protection.
Source: Câmara Municipal de Boticas 2006, Preservação dos Hábitos Comunitários nas Aldeias do Concelho de Boticas, Boticas / Photography: TR