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From ‘aggressive’ executive to Montserrat monk: Pau Valls’ extraordinary transformation

Montserrat to welcome its first Benedictine monk in 4 years


06 June 2019 08:03 PM



While the Catholic Church has been suffering from dwindling numbers in Europe for a while now, soon-to-be Monsterrat monk Pau Valls has made headlines for being the astounding exception that proves the rule.

On Sunday Montserrat will welcome its newest member as Valls will become the first person to take monastic vows there in in 4 years. His path to becoming a Benedictine monk has not, however, been a straightforward one. Shockingly enough, he previously worked as a self-described ‘aggressive’ executive of an oil company before deciding to embark upon a spiritual path.

Recounting his story to the media outlets who picked up on his atypical transformation, Valls spoke of the unhappiness he had previously felt during the years he worked as a successful high-level executive for a multinational oil corporation.

Sensing his malaise, a non-religious friend advised him to take a retreat to Montserrat’s monastery to avoid burnout. It was there, he says, that he gradually decided to change his ways and chose a religious route.

After quitting his prestigious job in Madrid, leaving his civil-marriage wife and 10 years of spiritual preparation, Sunday will be Valls’ momentous day, although his day-to-day life already greatly revolves around Montserrat. Valls wakes up at 5 am every morning to pray and carries out various tasks including his favorite: presenting a Monsterrat Radio program.


  • Soon-to-be Benedictine monk Pau Valls (Estefania Escolà/ACN)

  • Soon-to-be Benedictine monk Pau Valls (Estefania Escolà/ACN)