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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 : 225
Short name: The Priest who Swallowed a Spider Alternative: Spider in the chalice (Ciudad Rodrigo)
Incipit: Muito bon miragr’ a Virgen faz
Refrain: Muito bon miragr’ a Virgen | faz estranno e fremoso/ porque a verdad’ entenda | o neicio perfioso.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Ciudad Rodrigo Protagonist(s): a priest

A priest always sang the mass of the Virgin very well and people were keen to hear him perform it. In August, on the great feast of the Virgin, he was singing the mass.

He ate the host. Then he began to drink the blood. However, in the chalice he spotted a large spider.

He thought this was curious, but like a true Spaniard, he mustered his courage and drank it down. God did not permit the venom to poison him, or the spider to bite him, but it crawled about beneath his skin.

It travelled through the priest’s body and, if he stood in the sun, people could see it moving. He told them that he suffered this affliction because of his sins. He prayed to the Virgin to intercede with her son and give him a quick death or remove his suffering. The spider crawled up his spine, along his spleen, up his chest and down his arms.rnIt was very hairy.rn

One afternoon, when he was sitting in the sun, one of his arms began to tingle and he scratched it. All of a sudden, the spider came out from under his fingernail.

The priest took it, ground it up, and placed it in his purse. As he was saying mass, he ate it and said it tasted like delicious food. The people, seeing this, praised the Virgin and the priest was much less lusty from then on.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 11
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F67, E225
Poncelet reference
Assumption (feast of), canonical hours, chalice, Eucharist, feast day, lust, mass, priest , spider, wine
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
The Miracles Came in Two by Two: Paired Narratives in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen
How to Eat a Spider: Alfonso X’s Cantiga 225
Parkinson, Stephen
Alfonso X the Learned. Cantigas de Santa Maria. An Anthology
Parkinson, Stephen
Aberturas e finais: rubricas, refrães, estrofes iniciais e estrofes terminais nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen