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CSM Number : 305
Short name: The Certificate of Absolution Alternative: Woman given certificate of absolution
Incipit: Senpre devemos na Virgen/ a tẽer os corações
Refrain: Senpre devemos na Virgen/ a tẽer os corações/ ca per ela guaannamos/ de Deus mui grandes perdões.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: unspecified Protagonist(s): a poor woman

A poor woman confessed her sins to a friar. He absolved her and instructed her to fast on the Virgin’s feast days and to hear sermons.rnShe begged him to put it all in writing in a charter. He did so and she took the document everywhere she went as proof that she had been pardoned.

The woman was so poor that she was forced to wander and beg for food. One day, in a city, she encountered a moneylender and she asked him to give her something.

He explained that he would not grant her a loan unless she had something to give as security. The woman offered the document and he read it.

He said that he would give her as much money as the document weighed. He said he wouldn’t risk any more and didn’t care for vagrants and harlots. Placing her trust in the Virgin, she agreed to have it weighed and he placed the letter on the scale. It was so heavy that no matter how many coins the moneylender placed in the balance, they could not match its weight.

The moneychanger tore his beard with rage and fetched a larger scale. Even two purses of gold and silver coins could not outweigh that charter. When the moneychanger saw this, he asked the woman to permit him to stop weighing. He promised that he would give her enough money to live on.

Everyone advised her to accept his offer. She did so, and they all praised the Virgin for the miracle, weeping and kneeling with reverence.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 15
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F35, E305
Poncelet reference
balance, beggars, certificate, coins , confession (see also repentance), gold, Jews, moneychanger, Muslims/Moors, prostitute, security (for loan), silver
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Heretics and Infidels: the Cantigas de Santa María as Ideological Instrument of Cultural Codfication
Bollo Panadero, María Dolores
Entre Ave y Eva: las mujeres de las Cantigas de Santa María. II. Las trabajadoras. III. Las Evas
Fidalgo, Elvira
El planto en la historia y en la literatura gallega
Filgueira Valverde, José
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
Os judeus na Espanha do século XIII, segundo as Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X o Sábio
Teensma, B. N.