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For the purposes of the new edition, every poem has been assigned a unique short title. The original short titles, taken eclectically from a number of sources, are retained as alternative short titles.
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CSM Number : 251
Short name: The Girl who was Captivated by an Image of the Christ Child Alternative: Girl captivated by Christ-Image
Incipit: Mui gran dereito faz | d’ o mund’ avorrecer
Refrain: Mui gran dereito faz | d’ o mund’ avorrecer/ o que pode amor | da Virgen ben aver.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Provence Protagonist(s): a little girl

A rich burgher in Provence vowed to place his daughter in a religious order. The girl often went with her mother to a nearby convent and became captivated by a stone statue of the Virgin and Child in the cloister. She always brought the statue an offering of flowers or fruit.

After the girl had joined the order, she frequently venerated the statue. She would stand in front of it with her arms outstretched, asking the Virgin to let her to hold the Child. The Virgin obliged, and the girl cradled the Child in her arms and called him her “son.”

When the nuns spied on the girl, the statue of the Virgin snatched back the child.

The abbess was alarmed by the girl’s actions and summoned her mother. The girl’s mother, thinking her daughter was losing her mind, took her to see the Pope.

To determine the nature of the girl’s behaviour, the Pope decided to gauge her reaction to the mass. When he elevated the host, the little girl said: “This is my beloved son…[and] I wish to go with him.” Then she ate the host and died.

The Pope realised that he had witnessed a miracle and had it written down.

Metrical data
Stanza: 13 [6’ 6] 13 [6’ 6] 13 [6’ 6] 13 [6’ 6] Refrain: 12 [6 6] 12 [6 6]
No. of Stanzas: 21
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel:
MS locations:
E251
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
abbess, children, cloister, conversion, Eucharist, flower, host, image (of Virgin Mary), madness, mass, nun, pope, roses, vow
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
4001
Bibliography
Los alejandrinos de Alfonso X
Hanssen, Friedrich
Alfonso X the Learned. Cantigas de Santa Maria. An Anthology
Parkinson, Stephen
Tres ensayos sobre el arte en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso el Sabio
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier