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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 : 384
Short name: The Monk who Wrote Mary’s Name in Three Colours Alternative: Monachus nomen B.V. tribus coloribus pingit
Incipit: A que por gran fremosura/ é chamada fror das frores
Refrain: A que por gran fremosura/ é chamada fror das frores/ mui mais lle praz quando loan/ seu nome que d’ outras loores.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: unspecified Protagonist(s): a monk

There was a monk, an ordained priest who delighted in saying the hours of the Virgin and reading the lives of the holy fathers. He also wrote very beautifully. Whenever he came to write Mary’s name, he painted it in three colours: gold, blue and rose.

The monk carried Mary’s name with him and kissed it frequently to overcome the devil.

Once, he fell gravely ill. The abbot and all of the monks gathered around him. One was appointed to stay at his side, since he was in such a terrible condition.

The appointed friar fell asleep and saw the Virgin Mary appearing at the sick monk’s bedside. She told him not to be afraid and promised to take him to Paradise. She said that his name was written in the Book of Life because he had written hers in three colours.

Then the Virgin took the sick monk’s soul. When the friar discovered that the sick man had died, he rang the bells.

The monks and the abbot came quickly and he told them about the miracle. The monks praised the Virgin and the abbot had the miracle put in writing.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 13
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
Poncelet reference
De monacho qui nomen B. Virginis consueverat scribere (326)
abbot, apparition, book (of life), colours, kissing, name (of Virgin Mary), scribe, soul, Lives of the Fathers, canonical hours, dream, gold
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Monachus nomen B.V. tribus coloribus pingit Cornell Mariale
(Cornell, MS B.14)
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Alfonso’s Miraculous Book: Patronage, Politics, and Performance in the ’Cantigas de Santa Maria’
Kennedy, Kirstin
Cantigas de Santa Maria e cancioneiros galaico-portugueses
Martins, Mário
A estructura métrica de algunas das Cantigas de Santa Maria
Montero Santalha, José-Martinho
O dourado, o azul e o vermelho: as cores do sincretismo religioso nas Cantigas de santa Maria de Afonso X
Nunes, Natália Maria Lopes
A Selected and Annotated Discography of Recordings of Music from the Middle Ages in Spain
Tinnell, Roger D.