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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 : 7
Short name: The Pregnant Abbess Alternative: Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess]
Incipit: Santa Maria amar
Refrain: Santa Maria amar/ devemos muit’ e rogar/ que a sa graça ponna/ sobre nos por que errar/ non nos faça nen pecar/ o demo sen vergonna.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: unspecified Protagonist(s): an abbess

An abbess became pregnant by her Bolognese steward.

The nuns in her charge discovered her indiscretion and were vindictive.

They accused the abbess to their bishop, who travelled from Cologne.

He summoned her.

After meeting with the bishop, the abbess prayed to the Virgin. Mary appeared to her, as if in a dream, and had the baby delivered and sent to Soissons to be raised.

The abbess appeared before the bishop and he made her undress. He declared her innocent and berated the nuns.

Metrical data
Stanza: 7 7 6' 7 7 6' 7 7 6' 7 7 6' Refrain: 7 7 6' 7 7 6'
No. of Stanzas: 4
Rhyme scheme: AABAAB |ccdccdaabaab Zejel:
MS locations:
T7, E7, To6
Poncelet reference
Abbatissa fuit, flos claustri, forma sororum, Iustitiae (4)
Keywords
abbess, apparition, bishop, caesarean, childbirth, nun, children, pregnancy, steward
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Pez
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Thott
(Copenhagen, Royal Library, MS Thott 128)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Vincent de Beauvais
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Gil de Zamora
(Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 9503)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Lisbon Mariale
(Lisbon, B.N., MS Alcobacense 149)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] John of Garland
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Gonzalo de Berceo
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Madrid Mariale
(Madrid, B.N., MS 110)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Gautier de Coinci
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] William of Malmesbury
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Adgar
(London, BL, Egerton 612)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Nigel of Canterbury
(London, BL, MS Cotton Vespasian D.xix)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Mariale Magnum
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat 3177)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Miraculorum B. Mariae. libri III
(Reims 1400)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] BL Mariale 5
(London, BL, Additional MS 15723, Collection 2, ff. 70-92)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Jean Gobi
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Bartholomew of Trent
(University of Bologna, Codice 1794)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Jean Mielot, Miracles de Nostre Dame
(Oxford, Bodleian, Douce MS 374)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Jean Mielot, Miracles de Nostre Dame
(Oxford, Bodleian, Douce MS 374)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Vendôme Collection
(Vendôme, Bibliothèque Publique MS 185)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Johannes Herolt
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Dominic of Evesham
(Oxford, Balliol College, MS 240, ff. 137-148)
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Li Miracoli de Senta Maria
Abbess Delivered [Pregnant Abbess] Anglo-Norman Miracles of the Virgin
(London, BL, Royal 20 B XIV, fols 102v-169)
BITAGAP ID
3724
Bibliography
Doctrina teológica y leyendas pías en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X, el Sabio
Alcalá, Ángel
Cantigas de Santa Maria do rei don Alfonso
Alfonso X , o Sábio
Estudio semiótico comparado de la Cantiga 7 de Alfonso X, el Sabio y el Milagro XXI de Gonzalo de Berceo
Barrado Belmar, Mari Carmen
Las colecciones universales de milagros de la Virgen hasta Gonzalo de Berceo
Bayo, Juan Carlos
Cantigas en versión para arpa de María Rosa Calvo- Manzano
Calvo- Manzano, María Rosa
Los clérigos, las ’cantigas’ y las ’Siete Partidas’
Cash, Annette Grant
A Paleographic Edition of the Alfonsine Collection of Prose Miracles of the Virgin
Chatham, James R.
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Algunas notas sobre la presencia de elementos tipológicos o figurativos en los ’Milagros’ de Gonzalo de Berceo y en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X
Disalvo, Santiago
La cultura monástica en las Cantigas de Santa María de Alfonso X: pervivencia, adopción y reelaboración
Disalvo, Santiago
Berceo y Alfonso: la historia de la abadesa encinta
Diz, M. Ana
La abadesa preñada (Berceo 21). Seis versiones románicas y tres en latín
Fidalgo, Elvira
Cincuenta leyendas por Gil de Zamora, combinadas con las Cantigas de Alfonso el Sabio
Fita, Fidel
Posiciones fetales, aborto, cesárea e infanticidio. Un acercamiento a la ginecología y puericultura hispánica a través de tres manuscritos medievales
González Hernando, Irene
La conmixtura modal en la Cantigas de Santa María
Huseby, Gerardo Víctor
A retórica visual no Códice Rico das Cantigas de Santa María
Iacob, Mihai
The Virgin and the Pregnant Abbess: Miracles and Gender in the Middle Ages
Karras, Ruth Mazo
Las traducciones castellanas de las Cantigas de Santa María
Keller, John E. and Robert W. Linker
A Feasible Source of the Denouements of the Exemplos in El Conde Lucanor
Keller, John Esten
On the Morality of Berceo, Don Juan Manuel, and Juan Ruiz
Keller, John Esten
A Preliminary Bibliography of Medieval Galician-Portuguese Poetry in English Translation
Longland, Jean R.
’Ona’, um arcaísmo galego-português. Breve contributo para o estudo das fórmulas de tratamento na língua medieval galego-portuguesa
Maia, Clarinda de Azevedo
Osservazioni sulle Cantigas di Alfonso X e sui Miracles di Gautier de Coincy
Marullo, Teresa
Alfonso X the Learned. Cantigas de Santa Maria. An Anthology
Parkinson, Stephen
Afonso X, un de bolonna e a abadessa prenne
Ramos, Maria Ana, & Luciano Rossi
Oña y su monasterio en el pasado de Castilla, historia y toponimia. Contribució al milenario de su abadia benedictina (1011-2011)
Rojo Díez, Eduardo
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
The Virgin as Midwife: Verbalization and Visualization in Alfonso X’s Cantigas de Santa Maria
Scarborough, Connie, L.
A Selected and Annotated Discography of Recordings of Music from the Middle Ages in Spain
Tinnell, Roger D.
Alfonso X, el Sabio
Valdeon Baruque, Julio
As Cantigas de Santa Maria
Vaz Leão, Angela