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CSM Number : 105
Short name: The Maid of Arras
Incipit: Gran piadad’ e mercee e nobreza
Refrain: Gran piadad’ e mercee e nobreza/ daquestas tres á  na Virgen assaz/ tan muit’ en, que maldade nen crueza/ nen descousimento nunca lle praz.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Arras, Auvergne; mention of Pisa Protagonist(s): a woman and her husband

When a young girl was playing in the garden of her father’s house, the Virgin Mary appeared to her. The girl was very frightened, but the Virgin spoke to her softly. She asked her to guard her virginity and told her that if she did so she would soon go to heaven.

How Mary appeared to a girl in the garden and made her swear chastity.

Como Santa Maria pareceu a u~a meni~a no orto e lli fez jurar castidade.

While a young girl stands outside amongst some trees, the Virgin, accompanied by maidens, approaches her.
Cando unha rapaziña está entre unhas árbores dun horto, a Virxe, acompañada por doncelas, achégase a ela.

The girl promised to remain a virgin. She vowed that she would never marry. One day, her father told her that he wished her to marry a rich gentleman from Auvergne.

How her... [caption incomplete]

Como o pa... [caption incomplete]

The girl speaks to her parents and points up at the Virgin seated in a cloud above her head. A merchant sitting at a stall weighs his goods.
A nena fala aos seus pais e sinala á Virxe sentada nunha nube sobre a súa cabeza. Un mercador sentado nun posto pesa os seus bens.

The girl told him about her vow and refused to entertain the idea. Her parents, however, were adamant and promised her in marriage.

How her father and mother made her marry against her will.

Como o padr’ e a madre a fezeron casar mui sen seu grado.

A man and a woman kneel in front of a priest who blesses them and joins them in marriage.
Un home e unha muller están axeonllados diante dun sacerdote que os bendí e os une en matrimonio.

The wedding was held and the couple retired to a chamber. But the Virgin made it impossible for the bridegroom to possess the girl, and she maintained her virginity. For a year they lived like this; her husband could not have sex with her. Because of this he committed an unspeakable and shameful act; he cut her private parts with a knife. All the doctors of Pisa could not have closed her wound. The unfortunate woman complained to a bishop, named Boniface, who felt sorry for her. Although he made an inquiry, he did not want to cause trouble, so he sent her back to her husband.

How they made her lie down with her bridegroom but Mary would not allow him to possess her.

Como a deitaron con o seu novio e Santa Maria non quis que passas[s]’ a ela.

The man tries to climb into bed with his wife, but the Virgin pushes him away.
O home trata de subir á cama coa súa muller, pero a Virxe bótao fóra.

Immediately, the scoundrel was stricken with wildfire, which also inflicted other people in the town. They had themselves carried to the church, which was jammed with the sick. All of them suffered because of the evil that man had done. The woman, who had been wounded by her husband, had an inflamed breast. They carried her to the church and she cried to the Virgin. She complained that the Virgin had not fulfilled her promise, but had made her suffer the fire instead.

How the wicked bridegroom plotted and committed a very shameful deed.

Como o novio astroso cuidou fazer algo e fezo nemiga.

The woman sits with her legs and arms and legs extended and her dress raised. Four women grip her limbs as a doctor makes an incision in her groin.
A muller está sentada coas pernas e brazos estendidos e co seu vestido levantado. Catro mulleres sosteñen as extremidades mentres un doutor fai unha incisión na ingle da muller.

The Virgin appeared to her and comforted her. She brought with her remedies to cure fire and leprosy. She told the girl to kiss the altar and promised her that she would be healed. She helped the girl rise and healed her of the fire and of the wound. The people gave the girl broth and green grape juice. When she kissed the sick, they too recovered.

How she complained to the bishop of the harm her husband had done to her.

Como ela queixou ao bispo do mal que lli fezera seu esposo.

The woman kneels before an enthroned bishop.
A muller está de xeonllos ante un bispo sentado nun trono.


How the bishop sent her back to her husband, who was attacked by St Martial’s fire.

Como o bispo a comendou a seu esposo a que o fogo salva queimou todo.

She lies fully dressed on a couch and her husband enters the bedchamber. The bishop, standing beside the bed, grips the husband and wife by the wrists.
Ela xace completamente vestida sobre a cama e o seu marido entra no cuarto. O bispo, que permance xunto ao leito, agarra ao marido e á esposa polos pulsos.


How the people of that city were all afflicted with that disease and had themselves taken to the church.

Como os daquela cidad[e] ardian daquel fogo e se fazian levar aa igreja.

The woman lies in her bed in front of an altar. Other people afflicted by illness cluster on the floor.
A muller xace na súa cama diante dun altar. Outra xente, aflixida pola enfermidade, amoréase no chan.


How the disease attacked the breast of that girl whose husband had wounded her.

Como caeu fogo na teta daquela a que o marido fora chagar.

The woman sits up on the bed and exposes the wounds on her breast. The others, raising their withered arms and truncated legs, gaze at the Virgin’s statue.A muller está sentada sobre a cama e amosa un peito con chagas. Os demais, erguendo os seus brazos atrofiados e as pernas amputadas, observan a estatua da Virxe.


How Mary appeared to her and told her to lie down in front of the altar.

Como Santa Maria ll’ apareceu e lli disse que se fosse deitar ant’ o seu altar.

The Virgin, accompanied by maidens, enters the church and goes to the woman’s bedside.
A Virxe, acompañada por doncelas, entra na igrexa e vai a carón do leito da muller.


How she lay down in front of the altar and went to sleep and Mary cured her at once.

Como se deitou ant’ o altar e dormeceu e Santa Maria a sãou logo.

As the woman lies prostrate on the floor in front of the altar, the Virgin bends down and heals her.
Cando a muller xace prostrada no chan diante do altar, a Virxe inclínase e sándaa.


How she got up well and all those sick people whom she kissed were cured at once.

Como se levantou sãa e todos aqueles enfermos que beijava sãavan logo.

The woman bends down and kisses another woman who kneels in front of her.
A muller inclínase para bicar a outra que está axeonllada diante dela.

Metrical data
Stanza: 10' 10 10' 10 10' 10 Refrain: 10' 10 10' 10
No. of Stanzas: 18
Rhyme scheme: ABAB | cdcdcb Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
T105, E105, To81
Poncelet reference
Erat igitur in suburbio civitatis Atrebatensis quaedam (420)
apparition, bishop, breast, chastity, garden, genitals, illness, kissing, marriage, Saint Martial’s fire, vow, wound
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Maid of Arras BL Mariale 3
(London, BL, Additional MS 35112, ff. 21-80; 90-94)
Maid of Arras John of Garland
Maid of Arras Gautier de Coinci
Maid of Arras Mariale Magnum
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat 3177)
Maid of Arras Paris Mariale 1
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale 14463)
La vida conventual feminina en la Edad Media castellana: poder, misticismo y prácticas devocionales en las Cantigas de Santa María
Álvarez Díaz, Cristina
Narrativa visual de la enfermedad en las Cantigas de Santa María
Corti, Francisco
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Osservazioni sulle Cantigas di Alfonso X e sui Miracles di Gautier de Coincy
Marullo, Teresa
Las Cantigas de Don Alonso el Sabio.
Morayta de Sagrario, Miguel
Cantigas de Santa Maria de Afonso X, O Sábio: aspectos culturais e literários
Vaz Leão, Angela