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CSM Number : 235
Short name: The Virgin’s Favours to King Alfonso Alternative: Alfonso X is repeatedly cured by the Virgin
Incipit: Como gradecer ben-feito/ é cousa que muito val
Refrain: Como gradecer ben-feito/ é cousa que muito val/ assi quen non o gradece/ faz falsidad’ e gran mal.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: various, including, Requena, Catalonia, Vitoria, Valladolid Protagonist(s): Alfonso X

King don Alfonso fervently praised the Virgin and served her night and day. He prayed to die in her service. One night, in a dream, she granted his persistent request and he was heartened and praised her.

The King was beset with troubles. One time, some of his nobles, including his relations, plotted against him and tried to dethrone him. He had been generous to these men, but they scorned him. The Virgin comforted the King and assured him that she would foil the plots of these disloyal men. She did what she said. Later, when the King fell mortally ill in Requena, she healed him.

He fell ill another time when he left his land to see the Pope. When he arrived in Montpellier, he was so sick that the doctors predicted he would die. Again, the Virgin cured him and he was able to ride home to Castile, passing through Catalonia. Although the nobles greeted him on his return, most of them conspired against him. They wanted to overthrow him so that they could divide the kingdom among themselves. God, however, exalted the King and subordinated the rebels.

On another occasion when the King lived in Victoria for a year and a month, the King of France attacked with a large army. However, God thwarted him and he behaved more courteously afterwards. Later, in Castile, God cured King don Alfonso of various afflictions.

He caused him to avenge his enemies--those who shunned woman were burned like candles. After leaving Castile, the King wanted to go straight to the frontier, but he had not fully recovered. A fever struck him in Valladolid and, once again, he was close to death.

Nevertheless, on Easter Day, the Virgin appeared to him. She stroked him with her hands and delivered him from all his afflictions. She did not wear a veil and shone brighter than a ruby or crystal. Let us praise her so that she will admit us to heaven and save us from hell.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15 15 15 15 Refrain: 15 15
No. of Stanzas: 21
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F71c, E235
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
apparition, burning, candle, candle (paschal), Easter, execution, fever, illness, king, pain, rebellion (of nobles)
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
3985
Bibliography
Doctrina teológica y leyendas pías en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X, el Sabio
Alcalá, Ángel
Alfonso X el Sabio
Ballesteros y Beretta, Antonio
In Sickness and In Health: Alfonso X, the Virgin Mary and Cantiga 235
Kennedy, Kirstin
Alfonso’s Miraculous Book: Patronage, Politics, and Performance in the ’Cantigas de Santa Maria’
Kennedy, Kirstin
Alfonso X, Cantiga 235, and the events of 1269-1278
Kinkade, Richard
An Orphaned Miniature of Cantiga 235 from The Florentine Codex
Kinkade, Richard, & John E. Keller
Alfonso X, el Sabio. Biografía
Pérez Algar, Félix
Alfonso X of Castile: Patron of Literature and Learning
Procter, Evelyn S.