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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 : 365
Short name: The Doubting Monk Alternative: Monk questions soul's fate (Fontfroide)
Incipit: Ben tira Santa Maria/ pela sa gran piedade
Refrain: Ben tira Santa Maria/ pela sa gran piedade/ ao pecador de dulta/ e de maa torpidade.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: : the monastery of Fontfroide in the archbishopric of Narbonne [a Cistercian monastery] Protagonist(s): a doubting monk

A novice monk at the monastery of Fontfroide in Narbonne was inspired by the devil to indulge in mad notions. He thought that the soul was nothing except air that quickly disappears, like smoke. He was obsessed by this thought and it plagued him night and day.

He decided that if this were true, he would leave the monastery and make the best of his time, doing whatever he desired.

One night, as he was lying in his bed, he decided to sneak out of the monastery. He got dressed and put on his shoes.

The Virgin, however, appeared to him with a great band of angels. They were carrying to heaven the soul of a poor man and were surrounded by light and joy. The Virgin told the angels to stop and look at the crazy monk. She said that anyone who believed that man’s soul was nothing, although Christ had died to save it, was greatly mistaken.

When the monk saw this vision, he acknowledged his guilt and returned to the dormitory.

He was freed from doubt from that time forth and lived a good, humble life in his order.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 8
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
Poncelet reference
Cistercians, soul, angels, apostasy, apparition, cloister, devils, heaven, heron
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Doing lines: refrains and copyists in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen
Text-music mismatches in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen