Valerius narrates the very beginning of his monastic life - unfulfilled desire to retire to the monastery of Compludo (Iberian Peninsula), and then the difficulties of life in the solitary cell "between the limits of the city of Astorga and Castro Pedroso" (inter Asturiensis urbis et Castri Petrensis confinio).
2. When I had borne these things for an extended period with the help of the Lord, after an interval of some years, when at length Christian pity had been moved by dutiful affection, a varied crowd of persons of both sexes, flocking together, began to gather there, to offer help to me, the unfortunate one, to tender service, and to furnish food. And just when the greatest need was turned into pleasure through the kind help of the Lord, a certain barbarous man, Flainus by name, the presbyter of the church there, very shifty, taken up with every kind of levity, suddenly rising up, pricked by the goad of the old enemy, and greatly inflamed by the fires of envy, as is the trait of the wicked who begrudge to others what they themselves do not desire to have, he, blinded by the darkness of this envy, raving madly began to work with hatred against my weakness, to set many obstacles and often to inflict much damage. When he with his hideous skin came to that place, (as it is written: a pitch-black face appears with its own darker skin as savage as the most ferocious beast), raging he came to that place more for the sake of my shameful undoing than to bring together loving peace and kindly mercy. When these things had gone on for some time my heart began to waver under grief and difficulty, wondering how I could avoid the discord of this envious man, and how to turn away the restless crowds, and how to walk through all the seductions of this world on an unsullied path.
3. Accordingly after this, confiding in the strength of the goodness of the Lord, whom I was seeking, I betook myself to the depths of an ancient solitude. Although I remained there alone for some time, that pseudo-priest already named did not then desist from persecuting me. First he stole from me with great effrontery books on the law of the Lord and the triumphs of the saints, which as the consolation of my pilgrimage and a correction of my way of life, and out of zeal for knowledge, I myself have copied. But afterwards whether by his own very cunning and savage ruse, or by the cleverness of the one inspiring it, his patron the devil (He knows to whom nothing remains hidden), I was often attacked by cruel robbers, humiliated even to death by the injuries of divers scandals, for I was almost reaching my last gasp.
(trans. M.C. Aherne 1949: 72, 74, 76)