Cantiga CSM 235 of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X

The Virgin’s Favours to King Alfonso

Folio 83 recto of codex Florencia Ms Banco Rari 20

   King don Alfonso fervently praised the Virgin and served her night and day. He prayed to die in her service. One night, in a dream, she granted his persistent request and he was heartened and praised her.
   The King was beset with troubles. One time, some of his nobles, including his relations, plotted against him and tried to dethrone him. He had been generous to these men, but they scorned him. The Virgin comforted the King and assured him that she would foil the plots of these disloyal men. She did what she said. Later, when the King fell mortally ill in Requena, she healed him.
   He fell ill another time when he left his land to see the Pope. When he arrived in Montpellier, he was so sick that the doctors predicted he would die. Again, the Virgin cured him and he was able to ride home to Castile, passing through Catalonia. Although the nobles greeted him on his return, most of them conspired against him. They wanted to overthrow him so that they could divide the kingdom among themselves. God, however, exalted the King and subordinated the rebels.
   On another occasion when the King lived in Victoria for a year and a month, the King of France attacked with a large army. However, God thwarted him and he behaved more courteously afterwards. Later, in Castile, God cured King don Alfonso of various afflictions.
   He caused him to avenge his enemies--those who shunned woman were burned like candles. After leaving Castile, the King wanted to go straight to the frontier, but he had not fully recovered. A fever struck him in Valladolid and, once again, he was close to death.
   Nevertheless, on Easter Day, the Virgin appeared to him. She stroked him with her hands and delivered him from all his afflictions. She did not wear a veil and shone brighter than a ruby or crystal. Let us praise her so that she will admit us to heaven and save us from hell.
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