Cantiga nº 139

The cantigas of Alfonso X “The Wise” recount the miracles that have been performed with the intervention of the Virgin Mary. Cantiga no. 139, entitled “Maravillosos e piadosos”, tells the story of a woman who took her son to church and entrusted him to the Virgin to keep him safe from harm. The child, who was eating a piece of bread, ran to the image of the Virgin and offered her the bread saying: “Would you like a bite?” The Virgin asked the infant Christ to invite the child to supper, and the child promised that the next day he would eat with him in heaven. The arrangement for mixed choir is based on a transcription of the facsimile of the codex prínceps collected by Greg Lindahl. Within the arrangement there is a balance between an imitative writing of cantiga-era sonorities, with the use of different rhythmic modes, organum forms and pedals accompanying throughout the work, along with more contemporary writing processes.

Maravillosos e pïadosos e mui fremosos miragres faz Santa María, a que nos guía ben noit’ e día e nos dá paz

E dest’ un miragre vos contar quéro que en Frandes aquesta Virgen fez, Madre de Déus, maravillos’ e féro por ũa dona que foi ũa vez a sa eigreja desta que seja por nós, e veja- mo-la sa faz no Paraíso, u Déus dar quiso goio e riso a quen lle praz.


Aquesta dona levou un meninno, séu fillo, sigo, que en ofreçôn déu aa Virgen, muï pequeninno, que de mal llo guardass’ e d’ oqueijôn e lle fezésse per que dissésse sempr’ e soubésse de ben assaz, que, com’ aprendo, séu pan comendo foi. Mui correndo parou-s’ en az cabo do Fillo daquela imagen e diss’ o meninno: “Quéres papar?” Mais la figura da Virgen mui sagen diss’ a séu Fillo: “Di-lle sen tardar que non s’ espante, mais tigo jante u sempre cant’ e haja solaz e seja quito do mui maldito démo que ‘scrito é por malvaz.”


Marvellous and pious and enormous miracles full of greatness performed by the Virgin Mary, who guides us during the night and during the day and gives us peace.

In this connection, I would like to tell you about a wonderful and extraordinary miracle that this Virgin Mary performed in Flanders, Mother of God, wonderful and great miracles performed by a woman who once was a child.

performed by a woman who once went to the church, her church, which was given to her for us, for us to contemplate.

for us, so that we could contemplate her face, in paradise, where God wanted to give joy and laughter to all those who are pleasing to him.


This woman took with her a very small child, who is her son, and gave him to the Virgin as an offering, so that she would protect him from all evil and sickness, and for sure she answered: she always knew perfectly what was right, and, in my opinion: she was eating her bread. This boy ran very fast, stopped and got in line. Close to the son of that image and then he said, “Do you want a piece?” Then the wise figure of the Virgin said to her son, “Tell him, at the latest, not to be frightened but to eat with you as long as there is: song and will and to get rid of that accursed devil, which in the writings is an evil being.”