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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 : 59
Short name: The Nun who was Slapped by a Crucifix Alternative: Runaway Nun (Fontevrault)
Incipit: Quen a Virgen ben servir
Refrain: Quen a Virgen ben servir/ nunca poderá  falir.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Fontevrault (Cistercian convent) Protagonist(s): a nun

A beautiful nun at Fontevrault determined to runaway with her lover, a gallant, handsome knight.

The nun was the sacristan and very devoted to the Virgin. After saying her prayers she would kiss the feet of the Virgin’s statue and of a crucifix hanging in the church.

Before running off with the knight, the nun went to the statue to bid it goodbye. The Virgin began to cry and the crucified Christ freed his hand from the cross and struck the nun.

The nun fell down unconscious and was scarred by the nail.

The other nuns found her lying on the floor and the sacristan told them what had happened.

They all sang to God, thanking him for the miracle.

Metrical data
Stanza: 7’ 7 7’ 7 7 7 Refrain: 7 7
No. of Stanzas: 14
Rhyme scheme: AA | bcbcca Zejel:
MS locations:
T59, E59, To75
Poncelet reference
Quaedam sanctimonialis virgo a quodam clerico verbis (1308)
blow (struck), Cistercians, convent, crucifix, elope, image of Christ, kissing, nail(s), nun, sacristan, wound
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Of a nun who was inflamed with love for a certain clerk Caesarius of Heisterbach
Una cantiga célebre del Rey Sabio. Fuentes y desarrollo de la leyenda de Sor Beatriz, principalmente en la literatura española
Cotarelo y Valledor, Armando
Imágenes vivientes: idolatría y herejía en las Cantigas de Alfonso X
García Avilés, Alejandro
El arte mayor de Juan de Mena
Hanssen, Friedrich
Brautschaften: Anlässlich der Legendenpastourelle zum Kruzifixus vom Mont' Irás (Santarém)
Koller, Erwin
Itinéraire espagnol du conte médiéval (VIIIs-XVs)
Marsan, Rameline E.
Alfonso X the Learned. Cantigas de Santa Maria. An Anthology
Parkinson, Stephen
Um problema de demonologia linguística: gal. proviso, port. proviço, cast. provizo ’diabo’ mais proviceiro, provicero, ’feiticeiro’
Piel, Joseph M.
Mother of God. A History of the Virgin Mary
Rubin, MIri
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
A Psalmic Theme in the ’Cantigas de Santa Maria’: ’Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis’ as ’Non cates aos meus pecados’
Schaffer, Martha
Medieval Song
Westrup, J. A.