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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 : 257
Short name: The Virgin’s Relics are Preserved in Seville Alternative: The Virgin preserves her relics
Incipit: Ben guarda Santa Maria pola sa vertude
Refrain: Ben guarda Santa Maria pola sa vertude/ sas relicas per que muitos receben saude.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Seville Protagonist(s): King don Alfonso

In Seville, King Alfonso had a large collection of relics of the Virgin and of various saints.

One day, he locked them up and went away. He did not order anyone to guard them.

He was away in Castile for ten years before returning to Seville.

On his return, he found that the relics had been badly damaged, even though they had been wrapped in cloth.

All of the relics were ruined and the chests in which they were stored were broken.

Nevertheless, the relics of the Virgin Mary were well preserved for she always prevents her things from suffering harm. When he saw this, King Alfonso praised Jesus Christ and felt great love for the Virgin.

Metrical data
Stanza: 13' 13' 13' 13' Refrain: 13' 13'
No. of Stanzas: 5
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F44, E257
Poncelet reference
king, relics, reliquary, Saints (other)
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Cantigas del Rey Sabio
Seeing is Believing: The Miniatures in the Cantigas de Santa Maria and Medieval Devotional Practices
Kennedy, Kirstin
El culto de las reliquias en las Cantigas de Santa María de Alfonso X el Sabio
Martín Ansón, Maria Luisa
Annales eclesiásticos y seculares de la muy noble y muy leal ciudad de Sevilla
Ortiz de Zúñiga, Diego
Alfonso X of Castile: Patron of Literature and Learning
Procter, Evelyn S.