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CSM Number : 237
Short name: The Murdered Prostitute Alternative: Murdered prostitute is revived to make confession
Incipit: Se ben ena Virgen fiar
Refrain: Se ben ena Virgen fiar/ o pecador sabudo/ querrá-o na morte guardar/ que non seja perdudo.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Santarém Protagonist(s): a prostitute

There was a prostitute in Santarém who trusted in the Virgin and fasted on the five feast days of Our Lady. She also heard mass every Saturday and refrained from sinning on that day.

She decided to travel to her own land, and, one Saturday, after mass, set off on her way. One of her former clients, angry at her departure, pursued her with a gang of rogues. The woman cried out to the Virgin to protect her.

They seized her as she was going to Leiria. Before she had time to confess her sins, the man raped her, robbed her, and cut her throat.

He left her for dead by the wayside, but the Virgin came to comfort her. She took her by the hand and led her to the road, promising the woman that she would be able to make her confession after all.

A knight came riding down the road and saw the mutilated woman. She told him what had happened and how the Virgin had saved her so that she could confess her sins. She asked the knight to help her.

The knight rode straight to Santarém and fetched the clergy. After taking communion and making her confession, the woman died.

Metrical data
Stanza: 14' 14' 14' 14' Refrain: 8 6' 8 6'
No. of Stanzas: 24
Rhyme scheme: ABAB | cccb Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F90, E237
Poncelet reference
apparition, confession (see also repentance), cross (sign of) , Eucharist, extreme unction, fasting, feast day, fornication, knight, mass, murder, rape, Saturday (devoted to Virgin Mary), throat (cut)
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
El trovador y la rosa: huellas de las ’chansons’ marianas. Gautier de Coincy en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X
Disalvo, Santiago and Germán Rossi
Entre Ave y Eva: las mujeres de las Cantigas de Santa María. II. Las trabajadoras. III. Las Evas
Fidalgo, Elvira
Milagres e romarias portuguesas nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Martins, Mário
Lendas portuguesas de apariçoes de Nossa Senhora nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Martins, Mário
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