Cantiga 63 of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X

The Knight who Missed the Battle

A valiant and skilful knight always displayed his prowess in battle against the Moors and in tournaments.


King Almanzor (Al Mansur) was attacking San Esteban de Gormaz, (989 CE) held by Count don Garcia, lord of Castile. The knight offered to help Count don Garcia defend the place from the Moors.
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Before going into the battle, the knight stopped at a church to hear three masses said in honour of the Virgin. It was his custom to attend mass every day.His squire reproached him and said that he would incur great shame if he did not do battle. The knight prayed to the Virgin to relieve him of humiliation.
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After mass he rode away and met Count don García returning from the battle. The Count congratulated him on his skill at arms and advised him to have his wounds tended by his own physician from Montpellier.The knight was very embarrassed, but when he looked at his weapons, he saw that they had been battered. He recognised that the Virgin had saved him from disgrace and he offered her gifts.
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